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 he built 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.
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.