Shadow works of Rashad Alakbarov
Rashad Alakbarov (born Azerbaijani, 1979) builds structures from everyday objects that, when lit from a specific angle, cast shadows of landscapes, portraits, patterns, and words.
He graduated from the Faculty of Decorative Arts at Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Art in Baku (2001) and has worked with different media, including painting, sculpture, theatrical decoration, video art and architectural design, but the use of shadows in his installations has become the main direction in the artist's conceptual work.
Alakbarov uses common materials such as wood, metal, glass, and general detritus to build these works, His works exist only when illuminated and viewed from a particular vantage point, causing viewers to question their perception of reality.
Many of Alakbarov’s works—particularly text-driven pieces such as Do Not Fear and This is Not Chaos (2015) project clear messages from seemingly chaotic assemblages, confronting the relationship between sign and meaning.
His works also address childhood memories, Middle Eastern linguistic history, societal expectations, and gender roles, evoking nostalgia while also critiquing widely accepted beliefs and cultural standards.