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Kalimpong, Shezad Dawood’s First Solo Exhibition at Timothy Taylor Gallery

SEEN is looking forward to the preview of Kalimpong, Shezad Dawood's first solo exhibition with Timothy Taylor Gallery in Mayfair. The show will run from 16th September to 22nd October.

SEEN is looking forward to the preview of Kalimpong, Shezad Dawood’s first solo exhibition with Timothy Taylor Gallery in Mayfair. The show will run from 16th September to 22nd October.

Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. He will present a multimedia exhibition at Timothy Taylor inspired by the Himalayan town of Kalimpong. This will include his first virtual reality artwork, and chronicle true stories and characters from Cold War-era journeys in the region.


Continuing an interest in how we experience time, and more specifically how the past continues to echo into the present, Dawood uses the site of Kalimpong – a small town in West Bengal – as a bridge between the past and the present. This is achieved through a layering of narratives that link Buddhism, painting, textiles, animation, digital new media and historical and speculative narrative.

The exhibition is constructed as a score that is informed by the questioning of the borders between virtual and material reality, and how that border becomes a contemporary expression of the border between figuration and abstraction, and between the Buddhist tradition of nirvana and samsara (enlightenment and the world).


Kalimpong was the site of French explorer and esotericist Alexandra David-Néel’s first meeting with the Dalai Lama, before her legendary journey to Lhasa. Later it was described as a ‘nest of spies’, after the Sino-Soviet split, and in advance of the Sino-Indian war, as various powers competed for resources and influence in Central Asia. Kalimpong also became the base for Texan billionaire Tom Slick’s Yeti expeditions, which may or may not have been covert operations. While the works are not specific illustrations of these and other stories, they explore the echoes and ripples of the various narrative layers that extend from them.

"Ekai Kawaguchi and Alexandra David Neel's busts". Creación mediante modelado 3D de dos bustos de dos personajes siguiendo la interpretación de Shezad a partir de imágenes encontradas en Google mostrando una figura multidimensional mostrando hombros y cuello en un busto clásico. Abajo instrucciones del artista. "I wanted to work from Google Images like last time, using a combination of images of each subject at different ages and different points of view, combined into one multi-dimensional representation (this time incorporating the neck and shoulders so they are more like a classical bust in proportions) The first bust is of Ekai Kawaguchi, Japanese buddhist monk: The second one is of Alexandra David- Neel, French explorer who disguised herself as a Tibetan man to enter Tibet unnoticed (I would like some of this to come through in the 3-D modelling):"

Dawood’s work has been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Marrakech Biennial, Morocco (2014); Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2013); Modern Art Oxford (2012); Tate Britain, London (2009); and the 53rd Venice Biennale, Italy (2009). Most recently, Dawood has held solo exhibitions at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York (2015); Parasol Unit, London (2014); and OCAT Xi’an, China (2014).
His feature film Piercing Brightness (2013) was exhibited widely at international festivals, is available on Blu-ray/DVD and iTunes, and was screened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Opening hours:
Monday by appointment
Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm

Timothy Taylor
15 Carlos Place,
London, W1K 2EX