The Qalam Series
gouache, watercolor, ink, frisket, and colored pencil on toned printmaking paper
8.5 by 11 inches
Qalam is the Urdu term for the miniature painting brush. This brush is unique in that it is made from one hair of a squirrel’s tail and requires an extraordinary amount of patience. Qalam also refers to the first and most important step of the painting process.
I make gouache miniature works that are influenced by both traditional paintings of the Mughal empire, in what is now modern day Pakistan, and contemporary Pakistani street art. As a Pakistani-American, I longed to go to Pakistan for the rich visual experience. I was attracted to the art in museums, as much as the folk art that fills the streets. By combining the use of flat patterning, repetition, and vibrant colors with contemporary iconography I honor both traditions.
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