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Owais Husain


Contemporary multi media artist Owais Husain, born in Mumbai, India, in 1967, explores identity, iconography and urban mythology and it’s evolution from one generation to the next, illustrating his relationship with and abstraction of a more traditional Indian art aesthetic. His works cover diverse themes; from personal reflections on his experience growing up in India, to more abstract modern day notions of journey, displacement, and blurred distinctions of cultural identity.


Husain uses a combination of photography, painting, video and installation to explore and address the themes of his art; he lives and works in Mumbai and Dubai.

For Owais Husain, the phrase ‘No one story to tell’ characterizes not only his varied experiences and influences, but also the multi-disciplinary artist he has become. The idea that the artist is a sort of cartographer, a storyteller charting the visual lexicons of their time for the next generation, is a core theme of Husain’s work. Using film, photography, painting, sculpture, installation and poetry - in various combinations or on their own - Husain creates visually textured works that both reference his roots in a traditional Indian figurative style and embody his constant pursuit to evolve and contemporize that iconography.


1989   Apprenticeship with Robert Blackburn, Printmaking Workshop, New York


1986   Apprenticeship with Jagdish Swaminathan, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal


1985 – 90  Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai

Solo Exhibitions

2016 Owais Husain: House of Cards. A Collaboration with the students of the LASALLE College of the Arts, Faculties of Fine Arts and Media Arts, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Praxis Space and Project Space

2015 Heart of Silence, Capsule Arts, Dubai

2014 My Body, A Fleet of Ships, W. Foundation, Seoul

2013 Forest of Lost Languages, Burj Khalifa, Dubai

2010 3 Worlds, Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

2006 Forest of Lost Languages, Aicon Gallery, New York

2000 Owais Husain: New Works, Gallery 88, Calcutta

1998 The Present is the Source of Presences, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

1997 The Present is the Source of Presences, Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai

1995 Owais Husain: Recent Works, Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai

1994 Owais Husain: Paintings and Drawings, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

1992 Cities and Sky, Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology Campus, Ahmedabad (Winning exhibit)

1989 That Obscure Object of Desire, Triveni Gallery, New Delhi

1987 Photographic installation on North/Central India, Festival of India in Moscow and St Petersburg

1986 The Sea that Found a Tree, Site specific installation, Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai

Group Exhibitions

2016 PUBLICA 2016, outdoor public sculpture installations sponsored by the Floodlight Foundation, New Delhi


2011 Contemporary Art, Dunia Media City Financial Centre, Dubai


2010 Owais/Tassaduq, Unicorn Gallery, Karachi


2008 Keep Drawing, Gallery Espace, New Delhi


2007 Double Take, Gallery Espace, New Delhi, Indian Art III/III, curated by Nancy Adajania, Vadehra Grosvenor Gallery, London


2004 Husain & Sons, Aicon Gallery, New York


2003 A Celebration of Colour, organized by Vadhera Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai


2001 Century City, curated by Geeta Kapur and Ashish Rajadhyaksha, Tate Modern, London, Excerpts from My Diary Pages, The Fine Art Company, Mumbai


2000 Erotica, The Fine Art Company, Mumbai


1999 Wallpaper, Kala-Ghoda Festival, Kala-Goda pavements, Mumbai


Legatee: Exhibition of The JJ School Alumni, Fine Art Company, Mumbai


Icons, organized by Lakeeren Gallery, Sir JJ School of Applied Arts, Mumbai


Contemporary Indian Artists Today, organized by Vadehra Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai


1998 Wilberding Collection of Contemporary Indian Art, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai


Generations: Indian Contemporary Art from Jamini Roy to the Present, A Gallery, New York


1997 Indian Contemporary Art – Post Independence, organized by Vadehra Art Gallery, National Gallery of

Modern Art, New Delhi


A Gift for India, organized by SAHMAT, LKA Galleries, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi


The Looking Glass Self, Lakeeren Gallery, Mumbai


1996 Cinema Scape: An Artist’s Tribute to 100 Years of Cinema, Lakeeren Art Gallery, Mumbai


1995 A Tree in my Life, organized by The Village Art Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts and Literature, New Delhi


1993 Four Young Contemporaries, curated by Rekha Rodwittya, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai, and Sakshi Art Gallery, Bangelore

Projects in Film & Music

2016 House of Cards, a three-day workshop with the International Institute of Fine Arts, Modi Nagar, India

2015 House of Cards, a three-day workshop and collaborative sculpture project with LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

A Paper House For My Vocabulary, collaborative light and paper installation with 250 school children, King’s School, Dubai

2010 Producer and Director, Letters to My Son About My Father, (16 mins) Documentary on the life and times of M.F.Husain, draft version screened at the Tribeca International Film Festival, Doha (2010), and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2014)

2009 Producer, Flight, experimental music track, (6 mins), The Festival of Thinkers, Abu Dhabi

2007 Director, Ek Mohabbat, (5 mins) short film on an anthem by A.R.Rahman, Seven Wonders of The World International Campaign (Winner)

2004 Writer and co-director, Meenaxi: Tale of 3 Cities, (130 mins, Hindi) (National Award Winner, India), score and soundtrack by A.R. Rahman, screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival and Filmfest Düsseldorf (2004)

2000 Associate Director, Gaja Gamini, (122 mins, Hindi), screened at the London International Film Festival (2000), Berlin Film Biennale (2001), and Marché du Film section, Cannes Film Festival (2004)

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Art Experience & Exhibitions

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