British artist Mahtab Hussain (b. 1981) explores the significant relationships between identity, heritage and displacement. His themes develop through long-term research, articulating a visual language that challenges the prevailing concepts of multiculturalism.
He received his BA in History of Art at Goldsmith’s College, London, specialising in Fine Art Photography (2002); his MA in Museum and Gallery Management from City University, London (2006). He completed his MA in Photography at Nottingham Trent University in 2013.
His ‘You Get Me?’ series focused on young working class Asian men in contemporary Britain. The exhibition was curated by Mark Sealy and launched at Autograph ABP, London in 2017 before travelling on to Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Gallery Oldham. His ‘Going Back Home to Where I Came From’, series made in Kashmir and Pakistan explored ideas around homeland, loss, memory and the overview effect was exhibited at New Art Gallery Walsall. His ‘Honest With You’ series is about femininity, sisterhood, resistance and political defiance of British Muslim women.
Mahtab Hussain has been recipient of numerous awards and commissions including; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; Arts Council England and Arts Humanities Research Council. He was also winner of the Curators Choice Award, Culture Cloud at New Art Exchange and Format 13 Portfolio Review Award for most significant review. Hussain was selected as the 2015 Light Work + Autograph ABP Artist-in-Residence, and was chosen from 500 international artists to be ‘discovery artist’ under the prestigious Discoveries Award in 2016 at Houston FotoFest.
Mahtab Hussain has published four artist books. You Get Me? published by MACK books with the support of Arts Council England received the Light Work Photobook Award for 2017. Going Back Home to Where I Came From is published by Ikon Gallery, supported by Arts Council England and The British Council. The Quiet Town of Tipton was published by Dewi Lewis and commissioned by Multistory and The Commonality of Strangers was published by New Art Exchange supported by Arts Council England.
Mahtab Hussain’s work has been featured on BBC and published in articles from The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Independent, Vanity Fair Italia, New York Times, Metro, Buzzfeed, Dazed and Confused, Elephant Magazine and Aperture to name a few. Mahtab Hussain is featured on the prestigious BBC 4 documentary ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’ and was part of a series on BBC Radio 4 titled ‘Snapshot.
Mahtab Hussain has made two portraits for the Everyday Heroes exhibition. Printed at over five metres high and displayed in the outdoor spaces around the Hayward Gallery and the Southbank Centre. The right one features Dr A Shahid, a dermatologist who continued to work throughout the crisis, while heavily pregnant. Dr Shahid’s infant son Ember also features in the photograph.
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