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Munawar Syed

Munawar Syed

I was born to draw and create. Art is a way of carrying on a tradition and knowledge. It involves creativity, which grows from human experience, thoughts and communication.


Hyderabad, my hometown, is a small city near the river Indus, the source of the ancient Indus civilization of Pakistan. Despite such a strong connection to art, culture, and heritage, the city is a barren land for contemporary art. In 1995, after a long debate with my family, I moved to Lahore and got admission at the National Collage of Arts (NCA) in Lahore.


My earlier works were mostly an exploration of materials and media but lacked direction and originality. My involvement with a mime theatre workshop pushed me to experiment and allowed me to break personal and emotional barriers. Such experimentation led to my thesis project Cult of Knowledge, based on carving books and the deconstruction of newspapers. It revolved around my personal feelings about society, religion, and communication. My private thoughts became public and scared beliefs became commonplace.


While teaching sculpture at the Karachi School of Arts, I started my own theatre group called Behroop. I have directed plays, conducted art and theatre workshops and participated in many group shows. I joined VASL, a non-profit art organization, as a working group member. In 2003, I participated in Burragorang International Artists’ Workshop in Australia and later in 2004 participated in VASL Workshop in Pakistan. My solo show  in 2004, It Is Too Much, consisted of a small series of assembled installations with fired clay, metal and wood. It related to information overload in an urban context.


Issues such as identity, diaspora, pop culture, hierarchy, and social stigma are evident in my recent works. In order to realize their existence, they remain in contact with the masses while questioning the identity of an individual – perhaps my identity.





Munawar Ali Syed