Friday January 27, 2023

Exploring the essence of faith

October 10, 2017

“I’m neither painting religion, nor faith or reason. It is evidently the confusion or diffusion of these ideas that I have tried to encapsulate in my work,” said artist Inaam Zafar about his solo show, 'Without', that was held at the Sanat Initiative gallery this past week.

The debate over religion is more complex than what mere words can explain, observed the visual artist and former faculty member at the Beaconhouse National University.

“But it is true that it is easier and safer to live outside the realm of reason. Reason can be dissatisfying; sometimes it has a small shelf life and it exhausts away before reaching what we believe to be an absolute truth,” he said.     

Speaking of his show’s title as well as his 12 works on display, Zafar stated, “The title probably has a more extensive meaning and synonyms in Urdu than in the English language; in this language it somehow sounds less probable.”

All his paintings were oil on canvas. One of them displayed a building covered in LED lights, giving it the look of a Sufi saint’s tomb.

Commenting on this painting Zafar said, “When we see a building covered with lights from afar, we assume it to be an abstract object, but as soon as we get close to it, it becomes a monument and we assume every detail related to it.”

Another one of his magnificent works on display was a scene from inside a tomb.Covered in golden lights, the painting captured interests of several gallery visitors.

“The inside of a tomb is so beautiful and fascinating that the day people visit a tomb they realise the beauty of the Sufi saint’s preaching.”

Labelled ‘The thought of an unknown’, the artist had a second collection of his work on display, smaller in size than the rest.One of them was a painting of a small boat, surrounded with while light, in the middle of the ocean during night time.

This boat, according to the artist, displayed nothing but the essence of one’s faith in God.It shows that when we see an object from a distance it appears really small but when we come close to it, the object appears to be bigger than what we thought, he explained.“When we believe in a monotheist religion, we can feel him to be present everywhere and believe in him regardless of not seeing him in a physical form.”