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Asma is a Pakistani-American fine artist and sculptor from Fairfax, Virginia. Her artworks explore the duality of a domesticated homemaker by physically recreating the home environment. Asma makes every effort to use discarded materials and repurpose them into basic necessities for survival such as shelter, warmth, luminance, sustenance, mobility, and intellectual growth. Some of her installations include breaking down grocery carts and welding them into chairs, sewing workman’s gloves together to create couture-like dresses and cushions, and reformatting sleeping bags to play on the idea of innocence and crisis.
Asma pays homage to handicrafts made by village artisans in India and Pakistan through her use of vibrant colors and intricate techniques. Her sculptures, furniture pieces, artist-made books, photography, and performance-based work have been shown in several juried group and solo exhibitions throughout New York, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Connecticut, and the Washington, D.C. area.
As part of her research efforts to study South Asian culture, Asma has taken trips to Sialkot and Lahore in Pakistan as well as to Abu Dhabi, Deira, Dubai, and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. She is a member of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, the Washington Sculptors Group, Washington Project for the Arts, Hillyer Art Space, CulturalDC, Studio Visit Magazine, Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, District of Columbia Arts Center, the McLean Project for the Arts, the American Visionary Arts Museum, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Asma’s artworks have been featured in the So to Speak Journal, four consecutive times in Studio Visit Magazine (Volumes 25, 27, 30, and 31) and also in American Art Collector.
In 2015, three of Asma’s artworks were also selected by the curatorial assistant for the Whitney Museum of American Art for an exhibition in Huntington, New York. Asma is the recipient of the 2014 Best of Show Award from the Hylton Center and Buchanan Partners Art Gallery and completed a solo exhibition with them from June through August 2015. Furthermore, from May 2015 to April 2016, one of Asma’s repurposed sleeping bag installations was selected for display at the Muskegon Museum of Art and Dennos Center in Michigan for a year-long exhibition at both museums. Shortly afterward, Asma received the 2016 Editor’s Choice Award during the National Maker Faire Weekend at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. From December 2016 to January 2017, Asma was selected by Herndon ArtSpace to host a solo exhibition titled, Har Mausam Rangeela (Urdu for Every Season is Colourful”). During this show, Asma sold a number of intimate, hand-drawn metallic ink prints, in addition to yarnwrapped sculptures and lamps.
Each year, Asma participates in several Maker Faires, often exhibiting an interactive performance with a mobile shopping cart where participants can wrap embroidery yarn, bells, and pipe cleaners onto different surfaces. This activity showcases the vibrancy and craft of South Asian art along the contemporary movement known as yarnbombing. As a result, this performance series has taken place at 10 different Maker Faires from Charlottesville to Reston to McLean, Virginia as well as local Barnes and Noble bookstores throughout Virginia. In 2018, Asma was selected as a Finalist to exhibit a yarnwrapped Adirondack chair installation for the “Celebrate the Arts in the Park” summer exhibition at Merriweather Post Pavilion’s Symphony in the Woods Chrysalis Amphitheater in Columbia, Maryland.
Asma holds a Master of Fine Arts specializing in Critical Arts Practices and Sculpture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Electronic Journalism, both from George Mason University. Asma is a full-time graphic designer at a consulting firm, teaches two new media and graphic design courses at George Mason University, and enjoys volunteering with nonprofit organizations focused on women’s empowerment, child care advocacy, and arts education.
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