"You know, art can be something which can really disempower people, or it can be a vehicle which can empower people."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 1 (2001)
Trained in the challenging discipline of Indian and Persian miniature painting, Shahzia Sikander has adapted an enduring artistic tradition to the task of questioning and exploring her Eastern heritage, its boundaries, and its liberating possibilities. "My whole purpose of taking on miniature painting was to break the tradition, to experiment with it, to find new ways of making meaning, to question the relevance of it," she says. The segment traces the artist's balancing act between studio and museum, small works and large-scale installations, Islamic faith and American attitudes towards Islam, and Sikander's life in the United States and her family in Pakistan.