Danka Interview with Faiza Ayub Khan
Administration by Faiza Khan
|Before I went to school I used to paint. When paint was not allowed at home I used spices, clay and glue to paint. Throughout schooling art remained my passion. I did art projects with teachers at school and later in college, designed stage and organised cultural events on campus.
I graduated in Fine Art and knew I needed more to quench my thirst. I went for post graduation through selling my paintings and raising money to study further. My father supported me in every way to realise my dream of becoming a professional artist. I feel blessed and fortunate enough to get appreciation and encouragement throughout my career which did get hiccups on the way to here but finally I have won as an artist and never gave in to pressures of giving up painting as my profession.
About your work and vision:
Each day as I approach my art, I try to keep an open mind and let the painting tell me what is to be done next. Each painting has a life and breath of its own, things we need to resolve together, areas that need refinement, space that can be better defined.....
This interaction is best approached with a clear mind, an open dialogue and a vision of a future that together we can realize.
I have a vision of the painting in my head, but like a map it doesn´t show all the little unexpected views that are around each turn. The joy is entering the dialogue with the painting. I put down a stroke, that changes the dynamic, the painting responds and I know what to do next. And back and forth it goes until it stops talking to me. Then I know it is finished.
I think art is the process, the painting is the record. If there is truth in art it is in that process. Each painting should be a record of an honest search within the artist. If successful, that honesty will be in the record and others will respond to it. If not, it will ring hollow. Why does the bird sing? Could it not sing?
Current projects/activities :
I paint at my private Art Studios. I teach art at children and adult level at the studios. These are most of the activities. I would always want to participate in charity events and work for a cause especially regarding the ongoing situation in Swat. I would be happy to join hands with people who are sincerely working towards it.
Currently I am working on a project of painting and depicting the agony of women in our society.
About Lahore or Pakistani culture:
Lahore and the rest of Pakistan is rich in culture and full of marvel. The only thing that’s lacking is the interest on private and govt. level both. I wish we could be more practical in our approach and less beautiful in just words.
American Club, US Embassy is exhibiting my paintings for the month of July.
Upcoming exhibition is next year in Lahore at Collectors Galleria, the event is not confirmed yet. For fall next year Art Asia, art gallery, Hong Kong will be exhibiting my paintings.
• Solo Exhibition, Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts, Islamabad, May 23rd, 2009
• Group Show, Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad, May 02, 2009
• Group Show, Fine Art Centre, Oklahoma University, Oklahoma, USA, July 2003
• Group Show, Bennett Street Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, October 2003
• Group Show, Malone Gallery, Troy State University, Troy, Alabama, November 2001
• Solo Exhibit, Al Mussawir School of Art, Abbottabad, May 2000
Since when are you in the music/art scene?
I have been painting professionally before my graduation, from 1996. After post graduation I did not paint for about five years due to the societal constraints and surrounding pressures. I started again this year and exhibited at Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad and at Hunerkada, F10, Islamabad this May. It has been so successful that I am encouraged to work more enthusiastically.
Why did you choose being an artist as your profession?
Becoming an artist was not an easy venture. I was discouraged by most of the people. I took it as a career because less than that wouldn’t have done for me. I am addicted to art and it is my passion.
What do you think should be done to improve the situation of artists in Pakistan?
Situation of artists in Pakistan will improve by itself if the artists resolve their differences and a healthy criticism prevails, if we all stop pulling others legs and being jealous, if art is not dictated but is flourished freely, if business remains business and art, art. What we should do is just remain honest and truthful. That would automatically pave a way for a common platform. After all it was a group of six or seven impressionists who exhibited in Paris together as a joint venture and brought about a revolution in art.
What do you think about the Pakistani food scene?
When I am abroad Pakistani food is the first thing I crave for. The flavour, the texture, the spices, the aroma... I have yet to taste something like it. I love Italian and Arabian cuisine too but I would mostly prefer Pakistani food.
Which kind of events do you attend?
Art exhibitions, music concerts, fashion shows and weddings (the unavoidable in our society)
Do we really need art and music - if yes why?
When we practice and witness art, we collaborate with the Universe. A conduit to the Universal Creative Intention opens when we reverently turn inwardly to the creative process and are present to what wants to manifest in our life. Art requires a willingness to abandon societal constructs of reality. Preconceived beliefs, formulas, and judgments fade as one directly experiences the vibrantly alive face of the Universal Creative Will and Intention. We have taken a long ride through the landscape of the rational mind. Its one-dimensional and linear qualities dissociate us from the awareness of ourselves as connected within the Oneness of Creation. The practice and witness of art re-establishes and enhances a feeling of connection. Like prayer or meditation, but more immediately and tangibly, art returns us to our essence. It takes us inward and focuses our awareness on that delicate communion with Universal Creation, which sustains us and aligns us with our authentic selves.
What kind of music do you like?
I like to have music around when I’m painting or relaxing. I would always prefer Classical Pakistani and Indian music, Jazz, especially smooth jazz. I am inspired by good music, poetry, and literature.