You are cordially invited to the symposium ‘Framing Artistic Practice’. This symposium accompanies the exhibition ‘Personal Pop’ and takes the case of the Bangladeshi-British artist Shah Jahan Miah (b. 1976 in Bangladesh – d. 2015 UK) as a lens to address topical questions such as:

  • What relationships can be imagined between personal and artistic freedom on the one hand and social engagement and responsibility on the other?
  • How can an artist navigate between a multiplicity of identities, e.g. gender, psychological, political, spiritual and cultural?
  • What are the pros and cons of explicit (art) historical references in one’s practice? How do artists write themselves into histories of art?

Practical Information


Friday 20 April 2018, 10:00-18:30

Hosted by

Parts Project / Royal Academy of Art, The Hague


Please RSVP for free tickets and lunch via


For more information, please contact Mariska ter Horst

The day will start at the exhibition venue with short introductions into various aspects of Shah Jahan’s life and work. The afternoon programme at the Royal Academy of Art is structured around his main sources of inspiration, which will in their turn provide the starting point to discuss broader themes. Together, we will reflect on different ways of interpreting and framing artistic practice and production.

For this second part of the programme, Parts Project is partnering with the Lectorate Art Theory & Practice.

The retrospective exhibition ‘Shah Jahan: Personal Pop’ (Parts Project, The Hague, 18 February – 29 April) showcases the idiosyncratic work of the unknown, prematurely deceased, highly promising artist Shah Jahan Miah (b. 1976, Bangladesh; d. 2015, UK). He grew up in Birmingham, studied at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University, and worked as a resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 1998 to 2001. His work comprises paintings, drawings, collages, videos, installations and clothing that blend the fabric of his own everyday life with the language of popular culture. He strove to make ‘personal pop’: art that is close to mass culture, like pop art, but at the same time completely personal. Shah was convinced that art possessed a transformative quality, and he envisioned a position for artists at the centre of society. His body of work is made up of apparently accessible objects that on closer inspection turn out to be part of a deeper web of meanings and references, with links to art history, identity, religion and politics. As such, it meshes with contemporary reality, in which diverse worlds are increasingly intertwined. Sadly, Shah’s unique ideas about art, his production drive and his unbridled ambition were overshadowed by his mental health problems and his early death at the age of 38 caused by heart failure.

Programme starts at Parts Project, Toussaintkade 49, The Hague.

  • 10:00-10:30 Registration and coffee/tea
  • 10:30-10:35 Welcome
  • 10:35-10:55 Josep Turro Bassols, friend and patron
  • 10:55-11:15 Judith de Bruijn, art historian
  • 11:15-11:25 Video message by Nathaniel Mellors, artist
  • 11:25-11:40 Bert Frings, artist
  • 11:40-11:45 Letter from Sara Sejin Chang van der Heide, artist
  • 11:45-12:00 Q & A
  • 12:00 Lunch at Parts Project & Travel to Royal Academy of Art

Programme continues at Auditorium, Royal Academy of Art, Prinsessegracht 4, The Hague.

  • 13:15-13:20 Introduction
  • 13:25-14:00 Talk by Shelley Sacks, social sculpture practitioner, followed by Q & A (via Skype)
  • 14:00-14:30 Workshop I moderated by Ludmila Rodrigues, Royal Academy of Art
  • 14:30-15:05 Talk by Mustafa Maluka, artist and cultural analyst, followed by Q & A
  • 15:05-15:35 Workshop II moderated by Dominic van den Boogerd, De Ateliers
  • 15:35-16:00 Coffee/tea & Screening of video Shah Jahan
  • 16:00-16:35 Talk by Thijs Witty, tutor for theory and writing, followed by Q & A
  • 16:35-17:05 Workshop III moderated by Kitty Zijlmans, Leiden University
  • 17:05-17:30 Student presentations in response to Call for Papers
  • 17:30-18:00 Concluding remarks and/or provocative propositions by Rob Birza, artist, Arno van Roosmalen, director Stroom, and Tatjana Macic, head research and discourse, KABK
  • 18:00-18:30 Drinks

For a detailed description of the afternoon programme, see here