Photo by: Hannes Wiedemann


Rich in historical references as well as traditional and modern motifs from both Eastern and Western art, Khadim Ali’s drawings and paintings tell stories about the loss of his own cultural heritage in Bamiyan, Afghanistan and the corruption of human values. He interrogates ways that meaning shifts as words and images are perverted through an ideological lens.

Ali’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at the Dhaka Art Summit (2018); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2017); Biennale de Lyon (2017); University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane (2014); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013); dOCUMENTA (13) (2012); Venice Biennial (2009); National Gallery of Pakistan, Islamabad (2008); Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto (2007) and 5th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2006), among others.

His work is held in public collections at institutions such as the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; British Museum, London; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Foreign Office, Islamabad and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan.

Ali participated in artist residencies in Japan at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (2006) and Arts Initiative Tokyo (2007). He studied mural painting in Tehran (1998–1999) and traditional miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore, from which he received a BFA (2003). He earned an MFA from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney (2012).

Born in 1978 in Quetta, Pakistan, Ali currently lives and works in Sydney.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 14

Related Content

Ali, Khadim

Flowers of Evil (2019)

As one of the persecuted Hazara people of Afghanistan, Khadim Ali explores the symbols, characters, language and image-making defined and redefined across the history of his culture of origin.