Jimmy Engineer’s search for ‘Al-Musawwir’

Media launching of the 612-page epic volume ‘In Search of My Master’ illustrating Jimmy Engineer’s work carried out during the last four decades by means of 500 pictures was held here at ABAAN-Lebanese Restaurant. Karachi-based writer of the book Marjorie Hussain, speaking on the occasion, termed Jimmy as a social crusader and said that she was thrilled to be able to participate in the book.

By M M Alam | Pakistan Observer

Jimmy Engineer said that publisher Pervez Iqbal – who initially wanted to exhibit his original works – went to his studio a couple of years ago and eventually thought of publishing the book. He informed that he was a disciple of Sufi Barkat Ali who taught him not to be disappointed if things went wrong. He said that he was perpetually in search of Allah ‘Al-Musawwir’ and hence he did not do only one kind of work: Commenting on Partition Series Jimmy said that he initially wondered why he was haunted by mass-migration that took place before his birth – his mentor held that his dreams were patchy reminiscences of previous life!

Jimmy’s inclination to find out historic buildings around the globe resulted into Architectural Heritage Series as he created a space to contain them – seeing a world in which tolerance was universal; While landscape reflects his love of his country, natural world is a source of motivation for him resulting into paintings of nature’s wonders around him. To create awareness for future generations and populace overseas his artworks includes the creation of Pakistan, the infinite variety of its regions, its people and their lives. He said that people associated with art and culture were ambassadors who could represent their countries in a better way. Recalling his meeting with Javed Iqbal, he revealed it was Allama Iqbal’s prediction that whoever painted Javed Nama would carve his name in art history: “Earlier Chughtai and Behzad too painted segments of Javed Nama”, Jimmy added.

The artist told the flabbergasted ladies and gentlemen in the audience about a miracle that he had experienced at the age of six and that had changed his life: “Doctors told me I only had three months to live but when I survived they were perplexed as to why I did not die. Both my kidneys failed but phenomenally brand new kidneys emerged as Allah had given me a chance to do better things in life”. During his career Jimmy Engineer has created over 2000 original artworks and some 1000 calligraphies – 200,000 prints of his exquisite work are in private collections in more than 50 countries. Though Jimmy has held over 60 art exhibitions around the world, due to his mystic belief he seldom exhibited at commercial galleries.

58-years-old Jimmy was born in Baluchistan in a Parsi family, but grew up to shatter the hurdles of social order, faith and belief. He got his early education from St. Anthony’s High School (Lahore) and Forman Christian College before going to National College of Arts. He turned into a professional painter at the age of 23. Though an artist by profession, his true zeal in life has been a profound concern for fellow human beings and their wellbeing. Numerous walks have taken him across the length and breadth of the country in pursuit of diverse objectives, mostly to promote human rights, enhance the quality of life and to create an equitable civil society in Pakistan. He had led more than 50 walks for noble causes in addition to arranging 150 awareness programs for handicapped, blind and orphan children. Speakers on the occasion concluded that Jimmy Engineer’s art extended beyond canvas and substance yet much of his efforts for supporting individuals as well as institutions had remained undocumented. Formal launching of the book is scheduled to take place on Friday 27th of January.

  • Noshir M. Khambatta

    Every Zarathushtrian should procure a copy of this gorgeous book as a tribute to a great artist and an even greater humanitarian.  May Dadaar Ahura Mazda grant him many happy years for a long and productive life.

  • Samutell

    nice article
    would like to know more about Jimmy & his Master,also about Jamshed Mehta  & other parsees of pakistan.

  • Samutell

    nice article
    would like to know more about Jimmy & his Master,also about Jamshed Mehta  & other parsees of pakistan.