When did you start painting?
I was guided by none other than the great artist, curator and thinker Ali Imam who contributed greatly to the development of visual art and culture in Karachi. I am self-taught and was noticed by Ali Imam who took me under his wing and gave me my first exhibition.
Which artist inspires you? And what Art Movement do you identify with?
Initially I was into calligraphic art but later the female form intrigued me. The universe’s beauty lies in the beauty of a woman. Singers, Poets, Authors and Artists have all paid homage since time immemorial- if “she” is taken out of our existence then life is simply desolate; so, it was a natural transition for me as an artist to paint the female figure. In terms of the artists who inspire me; first on my list is Ali Imam and then there is Jamil Naqsh whose technique of textures and soft line yet bold subject is wonderful.
Your paintings mostly have a female figure what does this signify? In our society and societies around the world women are mistreated and hold a lower rank than their male counter parts; this by no means indicate that the male is superior than the female; - not to me at least. Women for many generations have been the silent backbone to a man’s strength. Today women are in almost all professional fields and are even bypassing the male achievements – our mothers give birth to us and nurture us till a time we are able to look after ourselves, want to address it via my paintings. My acid Attack Victim series shows a vibrant palette; the viewer is attracted to the colorful imagery and patterns yet the eyes of the woman I paint hide the dark, horrific trauma of these victims who silently suffer.
What can be done to bring art into homes of Pakistan? Presently collectors in Pakistan are small in number. Well, awareness is there but it’s slow. Educational institutions have started introducing a visual art curriculum, since the last 10-15 years its grown, and the media can also help by producing international level programs on art and culture which is a direct way to bring the awareness to people’s homes. Also, now there are more art galleries than before and there is always there to four exhibition openings taking place a week. As far as collectors are concerned they are only a handful -it’s the gallery’s job to cultivate them.
Any other point you wish to highlight?
Strength of any artist is his/her focus on the studio practice.