I am

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Artist Statement

I started exploring photography in 2009 as a way to cope with my own emotions and changing worldviews. That is why the bulk of my portfolio is self-portraiture with me as the subject of my own work. My art since then has been the instrument and witness of change in my life as it talks about harsh realities and truths that I as a woman, born into a life where my gender granted me a status of immediate inferiority, was facing. How patriarchy and its inter-connection with religion affects not only our social fabric but our genetic wiring is my continued subject of fascination as I discover myself as a woman and as a mother of a daughter. My work is my continued fight to be recognized as a human regardless of gender and its expression, social standing, religion, or even relationships.

Using everyday life objects as props, and my own self as a model, I create high-contrast photos sometimes in series and other times as a single powerful statement. Using those props is a critical element throughout the body of work as for me the mundane objects or actions we don’t even think about hold and express deeper meanings and signify the customs and social barriers we impose on our selves. I express my South Asian ‘feminine’ background and the baggage that comes with it through recurring use of henna, traditional Pakistani jewelry and clothes, and often a long conservative braid.

I primarily create work as my personal meditation and share it on digital media for anyone who may find it meaningful for their own expression. I have never sought commercial success or fame as my work is very personal and in many ways is my saviour. The measure of my work’s success for me has been every woman struggling with rejection, patriarchy, and suppression, who has reached out to me as a result.

Exhibits

1) Solo: Harmony in Disjointed Thoughts, Pikture Gallery, Bangkok, 2011

2) Group: Genderless, Al-Hamra, Lahore, 2012

3) Group: A Cultural Nexus, Chicago Cultural Centre, 2012

4) Solo: I am, My Art World, Islamabad. 2015

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