Azzah Sultan

Thursday, July 16, 2020
02:00pm EDT

Location CHQ Assembly

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"Navigating Culture and Faith Through Art"

Azzah Sultan is a celebrated artist, having received her BFA from Parsons School of Design, and who is working to receive an MFA shortly from Washington State University.  Born in Abu Dhabi, and a Malaysian native who grew up in Malaysia, Saudi, Finland, and Bahrain, she has spent six years living in America working on her artistic practice.  

Her art has been exhibited in The New School, Parsons Paris Gallery, S.A.D. Gallery, The Bushwick Collective, BUFU Studios, The Ely Center, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Blackfish Gallery, Chase Gallery, Terrain 12, KMAC Gallery, and Egoless Gallery, and she was also a panelist for “Muslim Women Reclaim Their Identities” at Amherst College in Massachusetts.

While living in New York, Azzah served as a program coordinator at Triangle Arts Association and as an artist assistant for Artist of Color Block. Before starting her Masters she worked at the Islamic Art Museum as a graphic designer.

Her work strives to transcend the fallacy that Muslim women like herself are oppressed by the nature of their religious customs. Her work also speaks to the issues of finding her identity through culture and immigration.

Here is her Artist Statement:

I use my experiences of being a brown Muslim woman and highlight stereotypes ingrained within my community through installation strategies; my body of work debunks cultural myths created by society and explores stigmas related to my identity. I aim to give authority to myself in my work by being the performer, the author, and the subject, and I play on this idea of the self by also exploring my relationship with my parents, language, and my Malaysian nationality.

Being an immigrant in a country can shape and form the way you live your life. You struggle to identify yourself whether you are a part of your environment or still considered an outsider. The traditions and cultural practices that come from the homeland may not be the norm to follow where one has chosen to live. Traditional garments, and passing down of familial lineage and practices, are what I am currently interested in exploring in my artistic practice.