Resembling a pair of delicate chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, My House, My Tomb is a sculptural diptych “drawn” with industrial materials, including chains and fiberglass, but the primary medium is light.
Like much of Brooklyn-based artist Afruz Amighi’s work, My House, My Tomb is inspired by monumental religious architecture — in this case the Taj Mahal — which she understands as places of refuge and solace. With one hanging structure made of steel and its twin constructed of steel clothed with black mesh, Amighi evokes a history that never came to pass: the pairing of a black mausoleum for Shah Jahan with the shining white Taj Mahal that served as his wife’s tomb.
Strikingly illuminated, the hanging sculpture casts dramatic shadows on the surrounding Beaux-Arts style vaults and columns of the museum loggia. Viewed in this setting, the work evokes questions about the relationships between planar geometry and three-dimensional space, Islamic and Western architecture, and absence and presence. Enthusiasts of architecture and history may find it an intriguing study in cross-cultural styles. For visitors reckoning with loss, it may also serve as a space for contemplation and healing.
My House, My Tomb is the first Fang Family Launchpad installation.
About the Fang Family Launchpad
Showcasing the power of contemporary work in a historical architectural setting, the Fang Family Launchpad is both a physical space in the museum loggia and a program highlighting emerging and midcareer artists with rotating, site-adapted installations.
Image: Installation view of My House, My Tomb, 2015/2021, by Afruz Amighi (American, b. Iran, 1974). Steel with fiberglass mesh, metal chains, and LED light. Lent by the artist. Photograph © Asian Art Museum.