Sweeping Back the Sea, Aicon Gallery,
September 2018, New York, USA
It is not uncommon in Karachi for your neighbours to be strangers and for the streets which you pass every day to be unknown territory. This city changes every day and what I call home is now a bizarre paradox of predictable and uncomfortable environments, pulled together through cement, iron bars, mercury glass, coated with candy floss hues of wall paint.
Since 1992, I’ve lived in one of the oldest residential areas in Karachi called Bath Island. Beneath the sickly sweet apartments and broken footpaths lies a Bath Island of complex history and undulating stories.
This series of work is an ongoing reflection of disruptions in residential areas such as Bath Island and what the ideal home is today for a middle class Karachi citizen. As property passes through new hands and roads are scrapped away every week, the rarity of stability in the physical environment has launched a tussle for shelter, propelling a race to reach the sky and plummet through the centre of the earth. Who knows where it will take us in the future?
'Real Estate Dreams', Oil on Jute, 12 by 30 inches, August 2018, Sweeping Back the Sea, Aicon Gallery, New York, USA
You Selfish Dreamer
Art Divvy Project for Rossi & Rossi,
November 2017 London
Armed and Equipped;
The clattering of the Mahjong tiles echoes in my ears. The soft green sued lining of the table has just been brushed clean by the ayah.
I’m in the kitchen and I turn to my grandmother one last time before I’m pushed into the living room. ‘Please don’t make me hold the tray of tea-cups’ I plead. My whining gets me nowhere and I count every step with baited breath as I balance the tray on my arms.
They watch me place the tray down as they assemble mahjong tiles over batasaas and tea…strategically distracting one another in hopes of veering the game towards their favor. It’s only 4:00 pm – their day has just begun.
‘Mahjong War 2’, Oil on Canvas, 12 by 8.5 inches, 2017, Rossi and Rossi Gallery, London, UK
‘Mahjong War 1’, Oil on Canvas, 8 by 10 inches, 2017 Rossi and Rossi Gallery, London, UK
‘Mahjong Players’, Oil on Canvas, 11.8 by 16 inches, 2017, Rossi and Rossi Gallery, London, UK
We Ate The Birds, Koel Gallery,
August, 2017, Karachi, Pakistan
Occasionally on Sundays during lunch at my grandmother’s home we would spot through the dining room windows, a mother egret and her baby nervously pecking through the barren backyard garden. I found it so peculiar that these feeble yet elegant white birds were foraging around in urban Old Clifton where garbage, smoke and human occupation would easily scare away any animal.
Over the years, the Sunday lunches stopped and so did the egrets’ visits; with the growing encroachment of man’s need for ‘civilization’ migratory birds such as the egrets are faced with a limited number of spaces to call home.
Since the past couple of years I have been interested in documenting old houses in Karachi which have uncertain futures. Due to family complications for the aging owners, high maintenance costs and an increase in the need for land to build modern apartments to house the rising middle class, these old houses of Karachi need a purpose to continue standing. Viewed as a costly burden, many of the owners’ heirs feel inclined to sell off the property, unaware of their contribution to the erasure of Karachi’s history.
These series of compositions feature an ideal situation where perhaps, the egrets could inhabit these homes and possibly be the future owners since the estates are unwanted by humans. Perched on top of windows, cabinets and crouched behind furniture, the egrets are shown to be taking over the interior space much like as we humans have taken over their natural habitats and homes.
'The Egret Next Door I', Oil on Lasani Wood, 8 by 44 inches, Koel Gallery, August, 2017
'The Egret Next Door II', Oil on Lasani Wood, 8 by 44 inches, Koel Gallery, August, 2017