I am an artist and a musician currently working and residing in New York metro area. My family hails from
Waziristan, a war-torn border town between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is where I get my surname. My
family fled Waziristan to seek peace and stability and settled in a town of Bannu, a town in Northwestern
region of Pakistan about 65Km from Waziristan, where I grew up. My father, a physician by trade yet a
gifted poet and a writer, practiced at a local regional hospital, the only healthcare facility for hundreds of
miles. As a young man I spend a considerable amount of time with my father at his clinic and often witnessed
first-hand the destruction and devastation that a war can bring to a population. Many Waziristan towns
were abolished and leveled by the Pakistani military if not by the US drones to hunt for Taliban. The Wazir
population remain an internally displaced population (IDP) living in refugee camps all over Northern
Pakistan as their land remain uninhabitable. The plight of IDP’s and refugee population around the world
is an existential challenge of our time and a cause which I relate to on a very personal level.
From an early age I had an affinity towards the arts and music. Growing up in a tribal area with rigid
customs and culture and where the guns are a way of life, I opted to pick up a paint brush and a ‘Rabab’
instead of a gun. I saw art as my refuge and a way to redefine and reinvented my surroundings. I imagined
beauty emerging from chaos and rebirth from death and destruction. Through my sculptures I created form,
order and discipline around me. Art became a way for me to reconcile my grievances for comfort and chaos
with order. I taught myself how to play a “Rabab” and started composing music.
My father was the first one to recognize my love for the arts and encouraged me to pursue it further. His
tears of joy wouldn’t stop falling when I informed him of my acceptance to the National College of Arts
(NCA), the most prestigious art school in Pakistan. He gave me his blessings and off I went with my Rabab
to the bustling city of Lahore, where I would spend the next few years of my life.
Coming to the NCA officially started my Art career. It gave me the much-needed ammunition to ignite
my soul and sharpen my creative expression. I majored in fine arts focusing on sculpture. Through my work
I showed physical and emotional states of existence throughout lifespan through a series of nine Hyperrealistic sculptures called the “Inception” series. From a tender and a fragile newborn, to metamorphic
changes associated with aging, i.e., changes in textures, shape and proportion and ultimately the dissolution
of soul and rebirth and an ongoing repetition of this sacred cycle.
After graduation, I taught Fine Arts at Punjab University and Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design
(PAFD) as an Assistant Professor. In 2013, I accepted a contract assignment I worked as an independent
contractor and a consultant in directing and designing hyper-realistic monk and buddha sculpture. The most
challenging of which was a design and direction of a forty-five-meter buddha sculpture in ChangMai and
In 2014-2017, I returned to Lahore and created the second set of sculptures in the “Inception” series. My
sculpture, a kinetic beating heart, called “The United Beat of Existence” was nominated by Pakistan-USA
Alumni Network (PUAN) and exhibited at Satrang Gallery and is now a permanent archive of US Embassy
In 2018, I made a trip half way around the world to realize my dream of becoming a professional artist in
the Art hub of New York City, and to make America my new home. I consider myself fortunate and thankful
to be living among the best artists and in a place so akin to nurturing and fostering Art.
Moving to America has brought a new dimension to my life and to my art. As my life moves in new and
bold directions, I feel more confident as an artist to mix style and techniques and to artistically communicate
complex topics and subject matters by using unconventional techniques. One which has been particularly
immersive is what I termed as “pyroblading.’ As the name suggests it combines smoke, paint and sculpting
techniques. The result shows extreme detail and depth and 3D effect on a 2D surface. The technique hasn’t
gone unnoticed. In January 2019 my painting “Eruption” was asked to be displayed at the “alMuseo d’Arte
Contemporanea” Museum of Contemporary Art in Troinia, Sicily, Italy. Watch the making of
“Eruption” using pyroblading Here and follow the journey of this painting as it makes its way to becoming
a museum piece.
Transcending pain and beauty
Through my art I symbolically synthesize the patterns of beauty with an equally contradictory
proposition of pain to demonstrate reconciliation and transcendence into collective
actualization of universal consciousness. I try to accomplish this by a technique I refer to as
‘pyroblading’ where I employ the sculpting and painting techniques on a burned or traumatic
surface. This technique is particularly empowering because it enables me to not only recreate
but assign new life and meaning to a traumatic surface.
My art practice is inspired by the upheaval and displacement I experienced as a member of a
minority population while growing up. My work relates to the migrant and refugees around
the world, who must flee war and upheaval and seek new lands to pursue peace and
stability. Through my art I try to communicate their plight and hope to demonstrate how a
traumatized soul emerging from a burned and wounded past is still able to seek new hopes
and new life and completely reinvent itself.