April 10, 2020
On Thursday, April 9, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 175 fellowships to recipients throughout the U.S. and Canada, chosen from almost 3,000 applicants. This year’s U-M recipients were Sarah Buss, professor of philosophy; Susan Juster, professor of history; and Osman Khan, associate professor of art and design.
Osman Khan, an artist who directs the MFA Program at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, is interested in constructing artifacts and experiences for social criticism and aesthetic expression. His work plays and subverts the materiality behind themes of identity, home/land, social and public space through participatory and performative installations and site-specific interventions. Khan’s work has been shown globally, in places such as Shanghai, New York, Rome, and Seoul.
“I’m honored, and somewhat in disbelief,” Khan said. “It’s a bit of sunshine during the dark days that we’ve seen over the last few weeks. The circumstances make it hard for me to process and fully celebrate, but I’m excited to be able to have dedicated time to work on this project.”
An American with Muslim and South Asian roots, Khan’s proposed project draws from his heritage.
“I was inspired by One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales, and the idea of whose culture is often not represented in the mainstream. My investigative research project will bring to life some of the characters and folklore found in this book—such as the magic carpet and the Scheherazade—with a contemporary, technological, twist.”
Khan hopes that the series of works will be presented as part of an exhibition in 2021.
Osman Khan is the fifth Stamps School faculty member in recent years to receive a Guggenheim Award, joining Holly Hughes, Endi Poskovic, Heidi Kumao, and Phoebe Gloeckner in the honor.
“I’m thrilled to see Osman Khan’s work recognized in this prestigious capacity,” said Guna Nadarajan, Dean of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. “Osman’s work is conceptually rich and nuanced while being politically attuned to the contemporary realities of our multicultural society — and has so much to offer the world, especially in times of isolation and division. Osman brings us together through his work, centering us with new possibilities and brave reimagining.”