Home » paintings

Grace in hand

Komail Aijazuddin’s artwork marks a step beyond the earlier explorations of the baroque symbolism

aijaz Composition with Border 76.2 x 56.3 cm mixed media on paper 2015

Komail Aijazuddin is a representative of Pakistan’s younger generation of artists that is renegotiating the possibilities of artistic expression. In a sense, the works of Komail and many others have helped to create a new aesthetic that draws from the ‘tradition’ but reinterprets and subverts it with much flair.

Komail does not belong to a traditional school – or the cabals created across the country – that usually sets the styles of art practices in the country. Trained in New York (at New York University and the Pratt Institute), Komail Aijazuddin brings the Western traditions into his artistic experience and fuses them with the Pakistani traditions of religious symbolism and devotional narratives.

aijaz2 Black Tree 76.2 x 56.3 cm mixed

In Saint in Silver, the division between the sacred and the common is a border

In his early works, Komail ventured into a forbidden arena – of imagining the range of figurative within the Islamic traditions. Thus the Shia and the Catholic motifs found echo, and continues to speak, in the growing corpus of work. He did not stop there but added other traditions into his oeuvre, such as Buddhism, which were once native to regions comprising Pakistan.  Given the nature of contestations and violence that surrounds ‘religion’ in Pakistan, Komail’s work goes beyond the formalism of the motif and has been turning overtly political. The intersections of personal faith and the cultural milieu – littered with the notions of blasphemy, purity and public religiosity – have defined the various and prolific phases of his art practice.


Japanese Art in Lahore

A recent exhibition of Japanese paintings brought the restrained artistry of the orient to Lahore.
Review by Raza Rumi

tft-40-p-26-a Stormy Sea off Kanagawa, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by the artist Hokusai (c 1830)

A recently held exhibition at Alhamra Arts Council brought the subtleties of classical Japanese art to Lahore. The two cultures met and interacted with each other. I was lucky to get a quick preview of the exhibition thanks to the dynamic Sabah Hussain who has untiringly promoted this inter-cultural dialogue in Lahore.

tft-40-p-26-b The Actor Ichikawa Ebizo as Takemura Sadanoshin by the artist Sharaku (c 1794) Ebizo was a leading actor of his time

Sabah is also the founder and director of Lahore Arts Foundation and a renowned artist. A Lahori and a distinguished graduate of the National College of Arts, Sabah specialized in the preservation & conservation of works on paper at the College of Arts, London. Later she was trained at the Kyoto Institute of Technology Japan and in those rich environs she also studied the art of papermaking and printmaking. As a student of National College of Arts and Kyoto National University of Fine Arts & Music in Japan we have a rather curious artist-activist whom Lahore can only be proud of. […]

November 26th, 2013|Arts & Culture, Culture, World Artists|0 Comments

An affair with Sufiana art in Ajmer

My dear friend Salman Chishty is holding an exhibition at the death anniversary (Urs=Union) celebrations of Khawaja Muinuddin Chishty. This is such an innovative tribute to the great Chishty saint. I recall seeing some of these works that he was collecting in Ajmer earlier this year.

This story from the Times of India came as a pleasant surprise …

AJMER: The Sufi message of peace and harmony is being propagated through an exhibition of paintings called ‘Sufi art exhibition’ organized by Salman Chishti, a Sufi Scholar and a curator of art paintings.

He is displaying his collection of 100 paintings on handmade khadi paper at the Chishti Manzil here. The theme of exhibition revolves around calligraphy and paintings depicting Sufi values.

At the exhibition, the Sufi paintings of Najmul Hasan Chishti, a khadim of the Khwaja and a calligraphy artist. The unique feature of this exhibition is the representation of the saying of Sufis in calligraphy, along with its meaning illustrated through a painting in the background.

The principal essence of Najmul’s works is portraying life in ‘Sufi Islam’ and especially on ‘Sama, a form of mediation, widely practiced by the Sufi ‘dervish’. One can observe Rumi poetry in many of his paintings. He had beautifully portrayed the whirling ‘dervishes’ in ecstasy. […]

July 9th, 2008|Arts & Culture, South Asian Art, Sufism|3 Comments

Meeting Iqbal Hussain in Lahore

During my recent visit to Lahore, I met the Lahore artist, Iqbal Hussain. We had a nice, engaging chat, saw his recent works some displayed and some eating dust in the splendid Cooco’s Cafe located next to the Badshahi Mosque.

Iqbal’s matter-of-fact portraits have […]