Q) What themes do you focus on in your work?
My work is strongly influenced by my understanding of how human beings interact with their built environment and my main areas of interest are the built heritage and vernacular building traditions of Kashmir. The contrast between particular and universal, between individual and collective, emerges from the construction of the city – it is architecture, which is the central theme of my works.
Q) What do you think is your greatest success as an artist?
I believe that collectively we can do more, and communication coupled with the ability to take risks can help solve complex problems. My engagement with local communities and my commitment to understanding the cultural fabric of my city has resulted in an extensive exercise of creative photographic documentation in the form of a series – Houses of Kashmir, which I have exhibited at several exhibitions and which was well received locally. as well as internationally. I would like to see it as an important exercise in cataloging rapidly disappearing heritage homes – the true gems of our city that face neglect and enormous development pressure.
Q) How much does Kashmir reflect in your art?
Being an architect and a Kashmiri – my works generally tend to highlight one aspect or another that I have absorbed from my immediate surroundings, be it my understanding of colors that I have learned over the seasons, patterns and Kashmiri craftsmanship. karigar which I see reflected in everyday objects like walnut wood furniture and shawls around me or a constant fascination with the city’s building and craft traditions.
Q) You are also a qualified architect, how is this reflected in your work?
Yes, I am an architect and an urban planner. Towards the end of my architectural training, I began to appreciate the built environment on a socio-economic and political level. I then began to realize that “urban” was the most appropriate epistemological category for understanding architecture and the built environment. This led me to pursue postgraduate studies in urban and regional planning at CEPT University in Ahmedabad. I recently completed my second Masters at Oxford Brookes University in International Architectural Regeneration and Development on a Fully Funded Chevening Fellowship. For me my creative expression as an artist and my professional training go hand in hand and the long term vision is to deepen the field of architectural and cultural heritage of Kashmir as a whole, to research it thoroughly and to provide solutions to the challenges it faces. faces.
Q) Do you think social media has had an impact on modern art and architecture?
Social media has changed the way people interact with artists and consume information, especially during the pandemic. Engagement has increased dramatically and there is a plethora of options in the virtual space. There is something for everyone. It has also become possible for people to buy affordable art on platforms like Instagram and Etsy etc. I am both a seller and a buyer and it has been a pleasant and easy process.