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Art Asia Pacific

Rummana Hussain (1952-99) occupied many positions during her short life. In the 1990s, when India witnessed violent communal events, her painterly practice took an immediate and dramatic turn. Over the course of the next seven years, Hussain responded to the tenebrous political climate and to the somber discovery of her own terminal illness through photos, text, installation and performance, becoming one of the country's most poignant, evocative artists, and an influence on future generations of conceptual artists. This preparatory sketch is for her work In Between (1998), a video that captures the textures of immigrant life, weaving together the physicality of New York with flashing memories of Mumbai. Shots of Hussain, weakened by her recent treatment, trekking resolutely across the Queensboro Bridge in elaborate ghungroos, or anklets, are interspersed with New York scenes and her domestic life, as she finds strength in abiding curiosity.