Shamsuddin Tanwri recently displayed his work at a local exhibition. His work is a reflection of his personal perspective which is deeply impacted by his time being divided in two very different cities with two distinct environments. “ I live in two different types of worlds. One is my village Shikarpur and the other being Lahore where I am setting my life up. The conflict and difference between these two worlds and how that affects me, suffocates me and alienates me is what forms the basis of my visual and artistic practice.“
In a lot of ways the artists’ work is a reflection of alienation and struggle, which he faces personally. “In my work the transformation of images are important, that is why I have done overlapping of the images. My main source of inspiration is form of the human body. “
A rather poignant piece highlighting the suffocation and isolation the artist feels and is trying to show is a painting with a a female face which is surrounded by what appears to be bubble wrap (commonly used for packing fragile objects). Perhaps the bubble wrap is symbolic of the expectations (those that we set personally and perhaps also those that are forced upon us, intentionally and unintentionally by society) and hopes/dreams that often weigh down too tightly upon us, leaving us feeling suffocated and alone. One can almost feel how restrictive it must be for the artist, but he has beautifully conveyed this through his art.
Some of his work has a renaissance like quality to the figures Shamsuddin paints. The chubby bodies, milky white complexion, curly hair, cherub like faces, some even with angel wings transports the viewers to paintings from another era. Liberal use of gouache in some of his paintings, give them a rather majestic feel and draws the view in immediately.
Shamsuddin is highlighting various themes and concepts through his work. It is an amalgamation of all that he feels. Since the subject is so personal to the artist, his paintings are deeply moving and poignant.