• 29 Oct - 04 Nov, 2022
  • Rubab Fatima
  • Art

The earth is a wondrous creation. From barren deserts to lush rainforests; from swelling oceans to cloudy skies... the earth provides endless inspirations for visual artists. Nature's palette is everywhere we look. Throughout history, artists have found endless inspiration in the mysterious beauty of nature and the grandeur of the earth's varied landscapes.

Landscape artists can choose to depict their vision of the earth in a variety of ways. They can be painted realistically, in an effort to replicate nature as closely as possible. One such artist, Zulfiqar Ali ZulfiÊis a Design graduate from National College of Arts, Lahore in 1989. He is a realistic painter of landscapes and is known for his use of light in Punjab countryside scenery paintings. Zulfi paints scenes from the Punjab, especially Dera Ghazi Khan which is still alive in the deep down recesses of his unconscious.

The skillful artist is also awarded with the Presidents Pride of Performance award for his incredible contribution in the fields of art and culture. His work features prominently in the following permanent collections: Governor House, Punjab Assembly, Administrative Staff College, National Institute of Public Administration, American Consulate, Lahore; Governor House, NathiaGali; National Art Gallery, Islamabad; President House, Turkey.

With his recent art exhibition named ‘Hues of Dusk’ which was displayed at the ArtCiti Gallery, MAG got in touch with artist to know some insights about the artists’ career and the passion that he has for painting. Stating his longtime association with this art form, the artist shared, “I have been associated with various forms of art from the last four decades and painting has been one of the art forms, I have explored the most in my career, of being in parallel streams of art.”

On being asked of times he decided to start painting and taking it as a career, Zulfi stated, “It was a very organic process for me to be recognised as a painter in our country as I started painting as a board painter since 1976 and that connection with painting urged me to join the bachelors’ program at the National College of Art, where I explored this medium and it gave me the courage to learn and practice as an artist.”

When inquired about the connection that the artist has with his art and how can he relate to it, he didn’t hesitate in quoting, “The process of being in this field begin formally when I started my bachelors’ degree, but unintentionally I started my career when I was a board painter. My approach of perceiving and learning about art broadened with the passage of time and I am still in the process of learning about art and that keeps on evolving in my art practice.”

On describing about his recent art collection, the artist said, “The recent collection that I displayed at the ArtCiti Gallery is on cityscapes and landscapes of my country which is very close to my heart.”

“I paint cityscapes and landscapes of my places where I have lived for many years and that association with those specific places makes me a part itself. As I belong to these places, I love to paint them on canvas. The everyday life of this city and its architecture, has always fascinated me. Four years back, I saw a fruit seller in the street from my window and the red light on the specific position gave me an idea about my subject matter and I decided on capture evenings in my works, from that time onwards. I painted many painting of the city that includes bazaars, haveli, streets, everyday life, and empty roads as well. I paint dawn and dusk as that is the time when I am at my home and I meditate through painting,” he stated while recalling of what inspired him to choose this specific theme for his recent artwork.

He was also asked about the techniques that were used to make the paintings, on which the artist answered, “I use oil on canvas but I keep a high contrast in most of my paintings to highlight perspective in my paintings.”

Are you ever completely satisfied with your work as an artist? His response to it was, “As an artist, I don’t think the process of being completely satisfied can be achieved because I think there is always some space for improvement, as we move for forward we learn new things in life that enhances my art practice and it will continue to do so.”

With a long portfolio to his credit, Zulfi truly believes in the saying, ‘A picture is worth than a thousand word.’ He also quoted, “I am so honoured that my work is widely covered in the print and electronic media, that strives me to work hard, for the people who admire my work.” •