The Artist's Workshop with Ruby Chishti

Project "The Third Space: Unfurling Diasporic Arts of South Asia"

Feb 22, 2023 at

Arch 108


The Third Space: Unfurling Diasporic Arts of South Asia presents: The Workshop with Ruby Chishti. 

Limited number of spots available. Please RSVP here! 

Please bring any used or discarded article of clothing of your own or scrap of fabric that might be significant for you.

Artist Ruby Chishti will facilitate a workshop for participants to engage in creating art through a transnational lens. 

What fragment of you survives in me? The workshop aims to engage the participants though dismantling and transforming unknown peopleʼs clothing through the process of hand sewing. What do these discarded mass produced garments tell us about ourselves, and our interdependence on other humans and life forms?


The Third Space is a program series that seeks to highlight Diasporic Arts of South Asia as a distinct, expansive, and emergent tradition within American contemporary art. This four-part series will combine artistic practice and scholarship to envision a cultural consciousness within the art industry that also acknowledges the diasporic artist, their transnational experience of identity, place, and time, as a primary grounding for the conception, aesthetics, and impact of their work. The Third Space presents an examination into American contemporary art, utilizing scholarship to unravel artistic expressions of the diaspora and transnational identity within the American socio-political landscape. 

The Third Space is funded by the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and is a collaboration between Twelve Gates Arts (12G)  and The Asian American Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania (ASAM). This project is a four-part program series curated by founder and Executive Director of 12G. Aisha’s curation will build from the gallery’s decade-long experience presenting diasporic artists of South Asia. In partnership with ASAM, this series presents an additional layer of interrogation into American Contemporary Art, utilizing scholarship to unravel artistic expressions of the diaspora and transnational identity within the American socio-political landscape. The series will take place at the University of Pennsylvania.

Check the program here!


About the artist:

Ruby Chishti (born 1963) is a Pakistani American artist based in New York City. She is Primarily a representational sculptor and installation artist. Her work is largely autobiographical in nature. She was formally educated at the National College of Art in Lahore, Pakistan. Her haunting and enigmatic works perform the passage of fabric from discarded mass-produced and ceremonial clothing to the re-construction filaments of artistic imagination. Her practice involve audio visual installations and experimentation in melding the fabric of found garments and social memory. Over the last 22 years, her artistic environments of fiberus architectonics of the unknown to initiate conversations about the persistence of the passage of time, intersecting with themes such as Islamic myths, gender politics, displacement, memory, universal theme of love, loss and of being human. As a young adult she remained a caregiver for her mother for over a decade who was paralyzed after an accident which deeply impacted her psyche and practice. Ruby references multiple histories and moments in time. Her works bear witness to the memory of artistʼs complex history of trauma from unexpected family loss and the wonton destruction of her Pakistani home to the survival of migration and her persistence through transitional impediments. Ruby has held residencies home and abroad, She was invited in 2018 as a Critic in Residence by Fiber Science & Apparel Design, College of Human ecology at Cornell University Ithaca. Her installations, sculptures, and site- specific works have been exhibited at Asia Society Museum NY, Queens Museum, rossi & rossi Hong Kong, Aicon Gallery London & New York), Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, India, National Gallery Islamabad, Pakistan, Arco Madrid, Art Hong Kong, India Art fair and The Armory Show NYC to name a few. Her work is in collection of Whitworth Galley Manchester, UK, Kiran Nadar Museum Delhi, Qatar Museum and other private collections. Chishtiʼs work has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines in Pakistan and abroad including New York Times, Art Asia Pecific, Diacritics, published by Johns Hopkins University Press ; Books including Unveiling the visible by Salima Hashmi, Memory-Metaphor-Mutations by Salima Hashmi and Yashodhra Dalmia and The eye still seeks: Pakistani Contemporary Art by Salima Hashmi & Matand Khosla, in a recent publication, A Companion to Textile Culture, edited by Dana Arnold and Jennifer Harris. Ruby Chishti currently lives and works between Bushwick Brooklyn and Lake Peekskill, NY.

This limited event will be open to the University of Pennsylvania undergraduate community.