The retrospective exhibition ‘Shah Jahan: Personal Pop’ (Parts Project, The Hague, 18 February – 29 April) showcases the idiosyncratic work of the unknown, prematurely deceased, highly promising artist Shah Jahan Miah (b. 1976, Bangladesh; d. 2015, UK). He grew up in Birmingham, studied at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University, and worked as a resident at De Ateliers in Amsterdam from 1998 to 2001. His work comprises paintings, drawings, collages, videos, installations and clothing that blend the fabric of his own everyday life with the language of popular culture. He strove to make ‘personal pop’: art that is close to mass culture, like pop art, but at the same time completely personal. Shah was convinced that art possessed a transformative quality, and he envisioned a position for artists at the centre of society. His body of work is made up of apparently accessible objects that on closer inspection turn out to be part of a deeper web of meanings and references, with links to art history, identity, religion and politics. As such, it meshes with contemporary reality, in which diverse worlds are increasingly intertwined. Sadly, Shah’s unique ideas about art, his production drive and his unbridled ambition were overshadowed by his mental health problems and his early death at the age of 38 caused by heart failure.