Tayeba Begum Lipi – kathmandu triennale

Artist Profile

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Artwork Description

Unveiling Womanhood, 2017

In recent years, women covering their heads in public has become increasingly present in Bangladesh. This phenomenon does not relate at all to the Bengali culture, but is instead an import from Arab countries. Tayeba Begun Lipi questions with her video installation this ‘trend’ of women covering their head for reasons of religion as a form of fashion. In the garden of the Patan Museum a small pavilion appears covered with hundreds of female colorful blouses. Inside the room, a video is projected on different layers of thin, white fabric. The artist herself is staged in the video wearing a hijab made of stainless steel razor blades. She gradually reveals her real face. This work questions the identity of being a woman in a context which is subject to big changes. The contrast between the colorful outside of the shed and the harsh white inside, combined with the radical video projection makes us reflect about the conditions of women.


Tayeba Begum Lipi (b. 1969)creates paintings, prints, videos and installations articulating themes of female marginality and the female body. Her sculptural works re-creating everyday objects including beds, bathtubs, strollers, wheelchairs, dressing tables and women’s undergarments use unexpected materials, such as safety pins and razor blades. This purposeful and provocative choice of materials speaks to the violence facing women in Bangladesh, as well as referencing tools used in childbirth in the more underdeveloped parts of the country.

In 2002 Lipi co-founded the Britto Arts Trust, Bangladesh’s first artist-run alternative arts platform dedicated to organizing exhibitions, encouraging intercultural dialogue and providing residencies for local artists.