Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Adeel uz Zafar

Adeel uz Zafar was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1975. He completed his BFA from National College (NCA) Lahore, graduating in 1998. After college, he returned to Karachi and joined Karachi School of Arts as an instructor.  He involved himself into ensuing projects that marked his early identification as an illustrator. This in the present subsequence has given him a considerable experience of working with the finest and reputable publishing houses in Pakistan which have included Oxford University Press and Human Rights Education Program (HREP). Adeel made his contributions in multitude of academic curriculum text books. He mentions his sojourn in the suburbs of Gilgit momentous, where he went for Northern Areas Education Project as a national illustration consultant. As was the unavailability of the conventional media in such a deserted area, Adeel had  to investigate substitutes for paints and surfaces. This is something which he considers, has conspiringly made his place in the contemporary art scene or brought him back to the track. This was by developing the engraving technique on the exposed photographic sheet by using paper cutter. He scratched drawings onto them mostly based on empirical observation and by modifying them in his signature graphic style.
 He joined Indus Valley School of Art in 2008. Almost after a complete decade from his first college display, he exhibited his work in the IVSA Faculty show being a significant faculty member.  

Size Does Matter at V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi was a turning point for this artist and his practice. This show held in 2009, catapulted him into the league of emerging artists of Pakistan. He came up with a humongous scale this time, retaining his hold on the meticulous skill and the objects he made an illustration history with. These props were singular, fluffed, cuddly toys, very symbolically wrapped in gauze bandage. He engraved them on the large adjoined pieces of plastic vinyl sheet coated with emulsion and acrylic gel. The small toy was blown up to a monstrous size with a pitch black background, and the intricately manifested concealing weave of the cloth opened many connotations regarding furtive and ambiguous identity. 
This style and technique was further experimented through a group show of four artists at Art Chowk-the Galley, Karachi, titled Being a Man in Pakistan (2009) - which has initiated a dialogue for the artist to reflect upon various issues, both social and political at times out of the box.

Adeel associate his childhood memories and his perpetual dealing with subjects for children as the core of his imagery development. He symbolizes this bandaging manipulation as the delusive ipseity. He alters the dainty characteristic by transforming the identity of the object, driving it into the rather serious orientation. Whereas, his flamboyant command over the painstaking patterned strokes may appear principled to miniaturesque craftsmanship, the enormous scale of the work and his indulgence in almost a signature media to himself, segregates him from the league of contemporary miniature artists. Paradoxically, the surface revealing technique is contrary to the covert visual he creates.

 Recently, the artist has participated with both national & international artist, at the RM Naeem Residency, Lahore, and has further appeared in a show titled “On the brink” at Fost Gallery, Singapore and at Slick Art, Paris. He teamed up with fellow National College of Arts graduate Ayaz Jokhio for a two-person show at the Canvas Gallery, Karachi. Through these memorable shows Adeel was selected in an exhibition showcasing a decade of a new wave of Pakistani artists who have contributed to the ever growing diverse vocabulary of contemporary art that has and is evolved from South East Asia – The Rising Tide - new directions in Art from Pakistan 1990-2010. Adeel uz Zafar currently works and resides with his wife Nehdia and two children in Karachi.