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Khadim Ali’s Demonic Paintings and Murals

The work of Pakistan-born, Australia-based artist Khadim Ali explores history, traditional art practices, and the artist’s own identity. Much of his work has been influenced by the 10th-century epic poem “Shahnama/The Book of Kings,” and is often expressed in classical miniatures, murals and calligraphy.

The work of Pakistan-born, Australia-based artist Khadim Ali explores history, traditional art practices, and the artist’s own identity. Much of his work has been influenced by the 10th-century epic poem “Shahnama/The Book of Kings,” and is often expressed in classical miniatures, murals and calligraphy.

“Similar to the demon-like figures that populate much of Khadim Ali’s work, the characters seen in ‘The Arrival of Demons,’ based on the hero Rostam from the tenth-century epic poem Shahnama/The Book of Kings, can embody both good and evil; here they appear without wings, giving them a more sage-like presence,” the Museum of Contemporary of Art said, of his above mural. “Most stand, hands crossed over bellies, stroking beards or leaning on the stairs. One appears to sit, elbows on thighs, looking out to the entrance of the Museum and Circular Quay beyond, the site of the first British colony, the arrival of the first ‘boat people’. While the poses of the figures suggest interaction, their mouths are closed. There is no apparent conversation here. They simply wait.”

See more of Ali’s work below.

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