Igshaan Adams, ‘Sūrah al-Kāfirūn IV’, 2016, blank projects

About Igshaan Adams

Igshaan Adams’ use of culturally specific materials and forms points to the artist’s larger inquiry into the different cultural contexts he occupies. Born in South Africa, Adams is mixed race but was classified as “colored” under apartheid; he is also a practicing Muslim but raised by Christian grandparents and is gay. “I am driven by the need to unearth, unmask, and unveil the mysteries hidden within the depths of the self, beyond race, class, religion, sexual orientation, and gender,” Adams has said. Adams forges his investigation though textiles—materials with rich cultural histories, especially in Islam, that he sees as resonant with the strong matriarchal influence of his childhood. His works dwell on the relationship between gender and craft, the role of the prayer rug, and the issue of veiling identities, highlighting the numerous histories and ideologies embedded in each piece of fabric.

South African, b. 1982