Amin Gulgee: The Spider Speaketh In Tongues

Opening: Friday, Apr 8, 2022 5 – 8 pm
Friday, Apr 8 – Jul 9, 2022

1925 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

AMIN GULGEE: The Spider Speaketh In Tongues

Curated by Adam Fahy-Majeed

Exhibition opening Friday April 8th, 5pm to 8pm RSVP Opening (Free Admission)

Performance: “Kiss of the Spider Woman” Saturday April 9th, 6:07pm to 7:17pm  RSVP (Free Admission)


This immersive exhibition presents an opportunity to entangle oneself in Amin Gulgee’s aesthetic web. His praxis explores unlikely connections to uncover alternative narratives, resisting conceptual categorization. He attempts to dissolve the divisions not only between the many layers of South Asian spirituality, but those of gender and sexuality. This non dualistic approach manifests itself in the materiality of his metalwork, and is reflected in the philosophy behind his performative and curatorial practices. As the late doyen of Islamic art history, Oleg Grabar wrote:

…works by Amin Gulgee bewilder us by the variety of their expressions, by an apparent freedom in technique and design, by the range of pleasures they offer… It is clear that Gulgee is trying to find the limits of a sculptor’s art… he gives pleasure to the senses and excites the mind.

For over three decades, Amin Gulgee has been spinning threads that interweave sculpture (primarily in copper and bronze), performance and curation. His curatorial practice spans over two decades. In 2017, Amin Gulgee was the Chief Curator of the inaugural Karachi Biennale, Pakistan’s first biennial. Performance is an integral aspect of both his curatorial and personal practice. Gulgee has enacted over 30 performances throughout his trajectory.

His last series of solo-exhibitions, entitled 7, took place in 2018, from Kuala Lumpur (Wei-Ling Contemporary) to Karachi, culminating in concurrent exhibitions at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Roma Capitale, and the Mattatoio di Roma. Prior to this series, Gulgee’s work had been shown in 47 solo-exhibitions across the world. He has 10 public works, including: Steps (2003), located in front of the Parliament of Pakistan, Islamabad; as well as Reaching for the Skies (2019) in the Rose Garden of the United Nations, New York.

The South Asia Institute will host The Spider Speaketh in Tongues, an encapsulation of Amin Gulgee’s practice curated by School of the Art Institute Alumnus, Adam Fahy-Majeed.


Exhibition hours and admission

Amin Gulgee: The Spider Speaketh in Tongues will be on view starting April 8th, 2022 - July 9th, 2022.

South Asia Institute is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

General admission is $10, students with ID is $5 and children under 12 are free.


To make this exhibition accessible to all, there will be no admission charge on Fridays with the promo code #CommunitySAI.

Advance reservations are recommended by visiting

South Asia Institute adheres to the latest health guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Facial covering is optional.

About South Asia Institute and its Founders

South Asia Institute aims to cultivate the art and culture of South Asia and its diaspora through local and global collaborations, curated exhibitions, innovative programs, and educational initiatives that aim to engage diverse communities. At the Institute the common heritage and identity of the South Asian Americans is showcased while celebrating the common connections and values that are shared with the universal community at large. Art and cultural expression bring together diverse peoples in a shared experience resulting in a better understanding and greater tolerance for ethnic differences. 

First generation immigrants from South Asia and longtime residents of Chicago, it was the passion for South Asian Art that inspired the founders, Shireen and Afzal Ahmad, to assemble one of the most significant collections of South Asian art in the United States over a period of 50+ years. The collection includes works ranging from early Moghul Miniatures to Modern and Contemporary masterpieces by artists from the region and the diaspora. Having enjoyed living with the works, it has always been their mission to share the collection on a much larger scale and promote South Asian Art and cultural heritage in the United States. It was with that goal in mind that they established the South Asia Institute which officially opened its doors in October 2019, just prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are strongly committed to their mission and continuously explore avenues to advance it in meaningful ways.

For more information on South Asia Institute or the Amin Gulgee: The Spider Speaketh in Tongues exhibition, please visit or call 312-929-3911.


Amin Gulgee portrait courtesy of SAI