An exhibition that explores the gardens built by Babur, the first Mughal ruler in India, in Afghanistan is being held at Blueprint 12 Gallery till September 6. The artist Arshi Irshad Ahmedzai’s compositions on Bagh-e-Babur, meaning gardens of Babur, evoke a personalized reading of the places through the artist’s own experience of walking through them.
Babur was fond of his gardens and frequently wrote to his governor instructing him on what to plant and where. These gardens were built after Babur’s invasion of Kabul in 1504 and include terraces, water channels, pools, and a marble mosque. Babur’s remains were later relocated to Kabul and his epitaph reads ‘Paradise is forever Babur Padshah’s abode’.
The gardens, which were a source of solace for many, are depicted in artist Ahmadzai’s series ‘Bagh-e-Babur’.
Since the paintings are incomplete, the interpretations are open-ended. His works preclude the easy closure of historical memory into the present.