Tazeen Qayyum is a contemporary Pakistani artist. She is a graduate of the National College of Arts, Lahore and has received many awards, residencies and grants for her work which are part of several distinguished public and private collections.
Tazeen’s work focuses on the larger narrative, the coexistence of the beautiful with the banal. Amra Ali has accurately described her work as “ being placed on the far end of hope., in fact in a world without hope, and certainly at the end of desire. She is confronted by a wall, as is the viewer, but on it, one can view (therefore read) the coded language of despair. She walks us through, just as she did in her earliest work in cockroach form (Elusive Realities, 2008). The earliest work on the cockroach was more of a direct response, a closer connection, to the Gulf War, when the suffering of the people was shown akin to cockroach form. Many journeys later Tazeen is able to hold the pain , if she is confronted and learned to speak to it, in acknowledging it and also being able to expand her vision; she seems to hold the wider universe, in insisting on a truce, in seeking a place of harmony, This is her inner world, the artist, who by revisiting the painful turns in to meditative mashq or lesson. Repetition has given way to nuanced simplicity.” This time she has gone back to the start, almost a deconstruction of sorts. The cockroach parts separate make it appear like a drawing in slow motion almost.
Tazeen’s work is powerful and forces the viewer to engage with her art and think. It encourages discourse and dialogue, something that all good art must aim to do. One may not see eye to eye with the artist, but sharing of information, ideas and thoughts is always helpful.