From Persian to Pop to photo-realism to minimal,Rehana Mangi ’s work reveals a versatility of genres which share the miniature infrastructure of repetition. Rehana Mangi series may be viewed under four headings, all sharing the letter D: Design, Domesticity, Dissimulation and Deconstruction.
Mangi’s refined design-consciousness plays with the basic drawing exercises of repeated lines in one inch squares. She moves them out of their boxes and into the chari wari (four walls) of domestic space, where grids inform the patterns of wallpaper, tiles or sewing samplers.
Curiously enough this is the very world which welcomed back the miniaturists once their courtly patronage collapsed. They applied their skills to interior surfaces such as walls, screens, furniture, metalwork and even photographic plates-an ironic closure to the circle which opened with the khi tab khanehs (library/workshop). These were spaces where calligraphers and painters worked alongside book binders, gilders and illuminators collaborating in a multimedia practice, one revisited in the current fusion of art and design.
Extract from text on Rehana Mangi by: Dr. Virginia Whiles