Samaa Ahmed is a diasporic visual artist. She specializes in using paint, charcoal, oil, laser cutting, and 3D printing to create mixed media works that are vibrant and textural. Her works are inspired by South Asian mythology and folklore, and traditional Pakistani patterns and handicrafts. Her recent work has explored themes of reclamation: reclaiming narratives, reclaiming painting styles (celebrating Pakistani truck art), representations (particularly in the way that women have been portrayed in Pakistani media through billboard illustrations and movie posters). She contrasts “high” and “low” art through combining complex subject matter and stories reminiscent of Mughal miniatures with commercialstyle images, colours, and reproductions.
She creates reprints of her works to enhance these images with beads, rhinestones, mirrors, ribbons, etc. to blur the distinction between preserving a historical art form and making it more accessible to contemporary society. Her pieces have been featured at local and international exhibitions, including an ongoing exhibit at the University of Toronto iSchool where she was commissioned to create two indoor murals. She is a Master’s candidate at OCAD University, a board member of the Feminist Art Conference, a researcher at Mural Routes, and the founder of ARTBOX Toronto a monthly subscription service that promotes emerging local artists.