Born 1975, Peshawar, Pakistan. Based in New York City.
My work exists in a genre I term as ‘Sci-Fi Sufism’, which is about discovering galaxies and worlds within yourself. I try to visualize this search by fusing mysticism and storytelling. I make art objects in multiple mediums and I draw inspiration from Sufi poetry, Afrofuturism, South Asian folklore, Islamic mythology, Science Fiction, Architecture and Calligraphy.
My practice also investigates the predicaments and perplexities of the life of an ‘Insider Outsider’. I define this as the practice of achieving a sense of belonging while being out of place, finding happiness in a state of temporary permanence, and re-contextualizing existing historical and cultural narratives with the contemporary.
I like to let the concept lead the medium I work in, and often collaborate with architects, artisans, fashion designers, 3D modelers and fabricators to bring the work to life. Perhaps this is because I come to art with a background in advertising, as a Creative Director on brands such as MTV, Mercedes-Benz, and more recently, White Castle.
I studied advertising at the Academy of Art and later sculpture at the Art Students League of New York. I speak English, Urdu, Pashto and conversational Arabic. I’m a proud recipient of Cannes Lion Awards, D&AD Pencils, OneShow pencils and a United Nations Award for Peace & Understanding. My work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, and Stephen Colbert.