About Farazeh Syed
Farazeh Syed (b. 1971) is an artist based in Lahore. After completing two years of the fundamental program at National College of Arts, Farazeh went on to acquire a diploma in print making at Gandhara Art School, Islamabad. Inspired by the Ustad-Shagird (mentor-apprentice) relationship, she then trained with renowned painter Iqbal Hussain for fifteen years. There, she learnt painting and an acute understanding of the human form, subsequently, refining her own visual and conceptual vocabulary. During this period, Syed also attended Continuing Education courses in painting/drawing at Parsons and Art Students League, New York. As a Research Associate at Sanjan Nagar Institute of Art and Philosphy, Syed has lectured on South Asian Classical Music and cultural history at National College of Arts, Musicology Department. She has been involved in art teaching/ training through formal classes, lectures and talks. She recently completed her Masters (Hons.) in Visual Arts (2014-2015) from National College of Arts.
Farazeh has been exhibiting her work extensively within Pakistan. Her work was part of the Luciano Benetton Imago Mundi Collection project for the Venice Biennale and consequent book ‘Pakistan – Lines in the Sand’ published in 2018.
Major Solo and Group Exhibitions
‘Theere is No Them’, (Catalogue), Sanat Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘The Skin We Are In’, O Art Space, Lahore, Pakistan
‘Four Women Four Stories’, (Catalogue), A Project of Studio RM, Curated by Irfan Gul, Sanat Gallery Karachi, Pakistan
‘Re-imagining the Imagined’, (Catalogue/Publication) Sanat Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘Love Letters’, (Catalogue), Curated by Mohsin Shafi, Sanat Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘The Imago Mundi Project for Pakistan’, (Publication: Lines in the Sand, Contemporary Art from Pakistan), Curated by Aman Mojadidi and Ambereen Karamat, Imago Mundi Pavilion, Venice Biennale; Luciano Benetton Collection
‘Recent Works by Farazeh Syed, Buland Iqbal, and Alee Saad’, Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘MA (Hons.) Visual Art Degree Show 2015’, Art Scene Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
‘MA (Hons.) Visual Art Degree Show’, (Catalogue), Zahoor al Akhlaque Gallery, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan.
‘Figure in Movement, Abrar Ahmed, Ashok Bhowmick, Farazeh Syed and Noori Berdi’, Unicorn Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘28th Annual Exhibition of Painting, Sculpture & Graphic Arts’, (Catalogue), Alhamra Art Gallery Lahore, Pakistan, Artists’ Association of Punjab.
‘Portraits of Punjab’, Unicorn Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘Sar-e-Rah’, Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
‘United- in the Age of Dialogue’, Contemporary Art Fair 2011, A Rastay Project (Catalogue), National Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan
‘United we Stand’, (Catalogue), Vogue Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
‘Faces of Life’, Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan.
‘Representational is not a Dirty Word’, Poppy Seed Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
‘Summer Breeze’, Vogue Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
‘Faces, Traces, Places’, Galleria 919, Karachi, Pakistan
‘A Show of Drawings’, (Catalogue),Vogue Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
Contemporary Art Fest 919, A pen and ink/charcoal show by contemporary leading and renowned Pakistani artists, Galleria 919, Karachi, Pakistan
‘23rd Annual Exhibition of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts (National Show), (Catalogue), National Art Gallery, Islamabad, Artist’s Association of Punjab and Punjab Council of the Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
‘An Encounter with Nature’, Vogue Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
‘Emerging Artists’, Crow Eaters Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
‘17th National Exhibition 2002-Painting, Sculpture, Graphic Arts’, (Catalogue), Artist’s Association of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
‘Feminizing & Sexualizing the Orient as the Mysterious Other in 19th Century Orientalist Art’, Dissertation MA Visual Arts, National College of Arts, (Library)
‘A Musical Approach to Painting’, National College of Arts, (Library)
‘The History of South Asian Classical Music in its Social and Cultural Context’,Third Quarterly Report, Sanjan Nagar Institute of Philosophy and Arts in collaboration with Unesco
‘Woh Baatein Teri Woh Fasaane Tere’, Outlook India.com , 23 February, 2004
What’s your inspiration
What inspires me is the need to investigate and inquire into my own self, my inner world of dreams, imaginings, instincts, fears, demons, desires and fantasies. For me, the creative process involves not only inquiry into and knowledge of the outside world and available forms of knowledge, but fundamentally, an ongoing process of looking inwards and continually visiting and revisiting the self: the introspective journey of digging up the many layers that constitute the self, revisiting the past and relocating in the present. Only then do I believe the outcome, the art, will be of universal relevance and meaning.
Tell us about the importance of the human figure in your work
My work is quintessentially figurative because not only do I find the human body to be most expressive and fascinating —it is our interface with the outside world through which we experience, express, interact and respond in profound and intriguing ways—but portraits and figures give me the space to self reflect and explore the complexities of the self. For, when we look into someone we are actually looking for ourselves in that person.
What is your creative process
Drawing and mark making is fundamental in my work—the sensation that a line, a stroke, a texture create is a meaningful experience for me. I first loosely apply a dark layer of paint on the surface (I like creating light out of dark) and then begin drawing directly with a brush or charcoal. The result is a multitude of crisscrossing, overlapping lines. I then start to paint creating an image, a figure out of a chaotic surface, which I find challenging and exciting as I don’t like to have a fixed approach or idea, but let the process be spontaneous and beyond knowledge, interpretation and the superficial, for that is where creativity lies.
SHOP THE ARTIST
Her Heart was a Secret Garden and the Walls Very High’ (William Goldman)$5,500.00
Are you shining just for me ?$3,800.00
A Garden filled with Papayas & Mangoes$5,500.00
Under the Apple Tree$2,200.00
At the birth of Venus$2,000.00
So She Did$2,900.00