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Grace and Strength

Shahzad Hassan Ghazi and the sublime Connection of Ornament and Minimalism

Shahzad Hassan Ghazi practices the ancient technique of miniature painting, which has its roots in South East Asia. Ghazi venerates the long history and rich cultural heritage of Pakistan, where this medium is highly treasured until now. More importantly, Ghazi takes the traditional art to the next level and puts his mark on it through his unique style. Thus, his œuvre is all at once traditional and groundbreaking. The combination of traditional Islamic art with impulses from modern and contemporary Western art such as minimalism is striking, and it shows, additionally, the immense potential of the cultural heritage. Ornament and minimalism united in the work of this artist gain enormous strength and grace.

Studying and practicing the skills of miniature initially for many years in seclusion, Shahzad Hassan Ghazi started to express his feelings through lines and paintings. Since 2015, he began to show his work in Pakistan. In view of the fact that he got good appreciation, he subsequently participated in some international group exhibitions. Not only does he work with meticulous precision and a high investment of time and effort, but the employed materials are highly precious as well. Real gold and silver leaf as symbol of glory is combined with the special rapidograph pen. This pen with archival pigment ink has initially been developed for technical drawings and maps. It demands utmost concentration and, when applied correctly, guarantees a complete regular line. The application of real gold came from his past practice. Now, the paintings and drawings by Ghazi developed into an expression of meditation and tranquility – both in the slow, diligent creation process and in the impact, that his art has on its viewers. The impression of both clarity, meditative silence and a somehow nearly unfathomable deepness in the structure with its myriads of precise lines throws the beholder back on himself, towards his own thoughts and emotions. Through the sublime connection of ornament and minimalism Shahzad Hassan Ghazi creates space for reflection and contemplation.

Sara Troester Klemm, 2022

Art historian (PhD) and writer, based in Basel and Leipzig

Shahzad Hassan Ghazi, Way of Wisdom, 2021, Gold Pen on Canvas, 182 x 182 cm

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