Young Pakistani Parsi artists showcase their talent

KARACHI: Two young Parsi artists, Farshad Engineer and Naomi Haveliwala, showcased their talent for community members at the Karachi Parsi Institute on Saturday.

Engineer, 21, has been painting traditional art pieces since he was 15 years old. Most of these traditional works consisted of  art paintings, drawings and sketches that mainly portrayed figure painting, landscape, still-life, abstract and contemporary designs.

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As he grew older, Engineer discovered new mediums. Now he invests his talent in the work of digital paintings, something he learned only four months ago.

Engineer, a student of Interactive Design at Canada’s Sheraton College, said he finds inspiration in the work of his uncle Jimmy Engineer, a famous artist and social worker. “I am very inspired by his work,” he said. “I am aiming to reach that scale but let’s see if that happens in three to four years.”

For the younger Engineer, art means everything. “It’s what my life is going to be. My job and career, likewise,” he said.

The collection that Engineer exhibited on Saturday is an all-girls series. He has digitally painted five girls – the Egyptian Cleopatra, Indian Oddissi Dancer, Japanese Sakura, The Numa and Gogeyi – using only his imagination.

The young artist plans to paint more of these women. “It’s kind of a tribute,” he said. “I plan to continue to do this with more girls and different regions.”

Engineer, who has been away from Pakistan for the last 10 years as his parents decided to migrate to Canada, admitted that he misses the city. “I miss Karachi a lot. There were some good times I spent here with cousins and friends,” he said. “However, my parents decided to have a better future for us and we decided to settle in Canada.”

Through the lens

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Quite different from Engineer’s works was Haveliwala’s collection, which comprised photographs of daily life. The 18-year-old photographer has shot surreal images of the city – from a flying crow to the sunset, to a cobbler fixing shoes and the eye of a car headlight.

Unlike Engineer, Haveliwala is based in Karachi and has just completed her A’ Levels from Beaconhouse Defence Campus. Her main inspiration is her teacher Rehmatullah Khan who, according to the teenager, “taught her how to hold a camera”. She also admires the kind of photography done by Ali Khurshid and Tapu Javeri. “Their images are unique,” she said. “Some are nicely done shots whereas others are candid ones that I find inspiration in.”

Pointing to her works, she explained this collection comprises images based on Karachi.

“These seven images right here show Karachi as I have seen it through my camera lens,” she said. “However, I am heading to Hunza next week and I plan to take more images there.”

Haveliwala termed her collection “a learning process” as she has been capturing Karachi through her lens as early as two years ago.