ZULFIQAR ALI ZULFI’S HUES OF DUSK
- 29 Oct - 04 Nov, 2022
Art imitates life; it flourishes with creativity being poured out from an artistic mind. Stepping into Art One62 gallery for a solo exhibition, I was stunned by the prolific and visionary display of pure talent. Shahid Malik, a businessman by profession is also a self taught artist who loves to show his creative self through painting. His love for art continues to grow as passionately as ever and he strongly connects with it. Malik lived in Australia for 31 years and has a versatile profile of actively participating in several group shows that were held in Australia and multiple other destinations. Being associated with arts and cultural activities for a long time now, he has organised quite a few events in Sydney to exhibit Pakistani art in the west. Arts & Literature Festival, South Asian Film, Prramasala, Koocha e Saqafat and Art on Sydney are few of his shows depicting his limitless affection for the craft. Engaged in art since childhood, he later learned and excelled in different mediums after studying drawing and graphic designing from renowned institutes in Australia. After feeling the need to utilise art as a platform of cultural exchange between the two countries, he collaborated and conducted projects to promote Pakistan’s art in Australia and the Truck Art project is an incredible initiative for that matter. I got in touch with the artist to get insights about his art work and the display titled ‘Line & Rhythm’ in particular. Malik said that he is fond of this art form since he was a child but considers the last four years to be very productive in bearing with his artistry. He never took it as a career but enjoys representing his thoughts and emotions through the skills he acquired. The artist credits his mother for being his significant source of inspiration. Malik tells me in a candid chat, "my recent collection is divided into two categories, Calligraphies and Plein Air (outdoor painting), all of my work is illustrated using almost the same techniques with pen and water colour." Calligraphy is his all time favourite subject, hence the theme of his exhibition, also to paint world’s iconic buildings is a great fascination, for this reason a variety of Plein Air portraits were a part of the display where he beautifully painted some famous sites enclosed with artistic perfection. He has reinvented the style of calligraphy by giving it a modern touch while maintaining its traditional essence. Upon asking about the techniques that were used for his compositions, he said, "I wouldn’t call this crosshatching but it is close to it. It’s my own way of doing it. For this technique, I've first used water colour on paper and then, ran rotring pen on it which is different and very unique." Showcasing a spectacular display of fine art, this was his first ever exhibition in Pakistan. He shared that he has never displayed any of his work until he's completely satisfied with what has been stroked on the canvas. The artist was delighted on how his work received immense praise and appreciation from the attendees. I tried to get the story behind some of the artworks that were my personal favourites, here’s sharing perspective from the artist.
This one gained my attention at a glance. At first, I couldn't understand the idea of creating a self portrait being all messy. But I was stunned, after knowing the artist's perspective behind it. "I painted this one while I was performing Umrah. There is a lot of dirt and stains on the face which shows the ugliness of my wrongdoings and my guilt while present in front of my creator."
The artist has an art gallery in Sydney and has now opened a branch of Gallery One62 in Pakistan in collaboration with the CEO of Art Kaam Gallery, Junaid Hamid. In this piece, we can see some of the iconic buildings of Sydney sculpted with Australian Aboriginal art. The most interesting aspect of the painting was when the Harbor Bridge is joined with Sukkur Bridge in Sindh depicting Pakistani truck art and famous places from Karachi. The idea was to show a connection between both the countries through art and creating platforms for the local artists to introduce and exchange their artisanship.
“In my modern geometric Islamic Calligraphy, I’ve maintained the tones right which is not that easy doing with a pen. I made sure that they are readable and abstract at the same time.” said Malik. He has encapsulated the quotes with unique and vibrant blend of colours and precise strokes. Every painting when carefully looked at appeared to be more striking than the previous one and proved to be food for rotten souls.