Abdullah M. I. Syed, Bucking: Sydney, 2015, live performance, Photography: Zan Wimberley, Image courtesy the artist and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia

Sunday 4 March, 11am & 12.15pm

Abdullah M.I. Syed
(Master of Cere‘monies’)
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
Hoda Afshar
Zeina Iaali
Khaled Sabsabi
Shireen Taweel


Free, bookings required


45 minutes per tour

  • Wheelchair Access

Travel through Waqt al-tagheer: Time of change with Master of Cere‘monies’ Abdullah M.I. Syed as your guide and timekeeper.

Drawing on his renowned performance practice and incorporating his ongoing interest in currency and exchange, Syed has developed the specially-commissioned performative tour Tohfa (Gift) for the opening weekend of the exhibition. Ruminating on the symbolism and ritual of gift giving in Islamic culture, audiences will be received with a traditional Islamic greeting and be presented with a tohfa (gift in Urdu language). Syed will then lead the intimate assembly through artist talks with a twist, as a selection of exhibiting artists deliver powerful and strictly-timed insights into their individual works.

Each tour concludes with refreshments and additional mingling time, offering a unique opportunity to chat with the artists at a more leisurely pace.

Please note that due to tour capacity, bookings for this program are essential.

DR. ABDULLAH M. I. SYED is a Pakistani-born contemporary artist and designer working between Sydney, Karachi and New York. Trained in diverse disciplines, Syed weaves real and fictional narratives of east and west to investigate collisions between art, religion, economy and politics. Syed earned a PhD in Art, Media and Design (2015) and a Master of Fine Arts (2009) from University of New South Wales, Sydney. He also holds a Bachelor of Art in Design (1999) and a Master of Education (2001) from University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), Oklahoma, U.S.A. Syed’s work has been featured in ten solo exhibitions and several national and international curated group exhibitions and performance events such as Divine Economy: Structures, Aicon Gallery, New York (2017); Flesh & Blood, Asia Society Museum, New York (2017); The Flying Buck, Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (AsiaTOPA), Melbourne (2017); Karachi Biennial, Karachi (2017); Substitute, Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, Sydney (2016), and Future Archaeology, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney (2015). Syed was the recipient of NAVA’s 2017 Carstairs Prize, Australia.