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Afshar Malik

Born in 1955 in Bahawalpur (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Lahore (Pakistan)

Afshar Malik received a BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 1978 and a Higher Diploma in Fine Arts from the Slade School of Fine Arts, London in 1988. He taught at the National College of Arts, Lahore from 1983 until his retirement in 2015. Malik has had solo shows in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Pakistan, the UK, the US, Iran and Sri Lanka. He has participated in workshops in Karachi and Mumbai and conducted several workshops in Lahore.

Afshar Malik writes of his painting Far Away Now for KB17: “Once, we began to say what we knew and write our own histories of the lives we were living. Coming of age, as it were, at forty, we walked up and down, negotiated and redefined our preferred ascents and descents of life. History was written right there and then, on the same page, with invisible inks of memory and anticipation—everything, like scales, numbers, erased or unscratched stories from the past and future, road maps, mediums and their methods to practice. History appeared like a photograph, a mirror, or a flower in our hands, telling one’s own self a story and writing the sounds from the past. Life is always on the move to varied ascents—or descents—every second, every moment. One ‘falls’ down and follows one’s own descent. The age of realization is marked—one has to choose, walk down the hill to where one started, back to the waters and be a fire to warm it. ‘I’m the eyes’, she said once.…and said, ‘we live, we fight to survive and keep the very true instinct in us alive so as to keep the blood warm in our veins’. This is about those people who dared to think and took pride in becoming and being—lone fighters, combating in the battlefield of life or fighting the war against dying. They also believed in their core that the war was not meant to be won or lost—it was the struggle which made them go on and gave them strength. To live and breathe, to sing a song while making a mark with a stitch, a non-ending thread twisting and turning to form a living pattern. A thread holds a needle, weaves their tears and gives moisture to a dry cloth.”

Far Away Now, 2017.
Oil and acrylic on canvas
168 x 137 cm.
Courtesy the artist