b.1979, Pattoki, Pakistan; Lives in Lahore, Pakistan Artist Ali Kazim creates layered, textured watercolors and ink drawings, primarily of figures in isolation and desolate landscapes inspired by ancient civilizations that...
b.1979, Pattoki, Pakistan; Lives in Lahore, Pakistan
Artist Ali Kazim creates layered, textured watercolors and ink drawings, primarily of figures in isolation and desolate landscapes inspired by ancient civilizations that once flourished in Pakistan. His meticulous brushwork draws upon miniature painting techniques, capturing the finest details such as individual strands of hair. Deploying an archaeological approach, he documents ruins and uses clay to create objects seemingly excavated from long-buried cities.
In Untitled (Ratti Tibbi Series), Kazim uses watercolor pigments to explore patterns of settlement and human connectivity. Shattered across a grid of nine white leaves of paper are fragments of terracotta vestiges from civilisations that once populated the Indus Valley around 3000 BCE to 1500 BCE. The deposits form a collective portrait of extinct Harappan communities who revered and used its very matter to create functional items. The image, a visual trail into the past, simultaneously opens up the possibility of thinking forward to contemporary uses of land and shifts in settlement, and provokes the questions of what will be left littered across lands in the future.
Ali Kazim’s work is included in many public collections, including the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Victoria and Albert Museum, London. His work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally, including: Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2022); the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford (2022); Lahore Biennale 02, Lahore (2020) among others. He is currently Assistant Professor at the National College of Arts, Lahore.