Art from the heart

Indian artsist Wajid Khan, who specialises in carving canvas with nails, recently showcased the art form of Urdu talisman Ghalib Mirza at the much-popular Urdu Literature Festival, 'Jashn-e-rekhta'.

Designed with glasses, bottles and jug, the peculiar artwork was the show stopper at the event and was praised by one and all.

This artist cum portraitist, sculptor, inventor and patent holder speakes to Millennium Post about his experince at Jashn-e-rekhta as a platform for emerging and known artists, his journey so far and more. Here are few excerpts.

You made world's smallest electric iron at the age of 14 and it entered the Guinness Book of World Records. What was your inspiration?

For me success was just accomplishing that one great task. All I knew was that I would grow as a person, become a star. That's what I wanted, so I jumped into it. And that's when I realised that it's a long and ongoing process. Success will knock on your door only when you wait and work for it continuously and patiently.

How do you keep your artwork relevant with time?

We usually prepare art pieces for the events which have already taken place, like Gandhi Jayanti or the events we know the tentative dates for. Now as an artwork takes almost a year to be completed, we plan and start working accordingly.

Do you think that approach towards experimental art has changed in our society?

Well, it's a very good question. Since 2010, art forms have changed drastically over the world. Earlier we used to paint on a canvas but now artists are experimenting with various bases and forms. Even the universities are offering courses to experiment with different art forms.

Tell us your thoughts behind your artwork on Ghalib. How was the experience of presenting it at the festival.

I have never seen another event like 'Jashn-e-Rekhta' in my entire life. And a few more events like this can take our generations to another level. As they are the forerunners of the beginning of a new change in the country, they will further transform the society in the long run.

How do you think festivals like Jashn-e-Rekhta give a platform to the artists across the world?

We can broadly segment any art event into two categories – one where an artist can showcase his talent and the other where he has the pleasure to witness other talents. But 'Jashn-e-Rekhta' is such a platform where we have the privilege of both. As I have already showcased my art in this biggest Urdu Literature festival, now I want to go to events like these and be the person who observes the current artform in the field.

You created Mahatma Gandhi's portrait using bullets. How do you make choices to create such artwork?

Violence has somewhere taken over non-violence. I know it's sad but true at the same time. We know very well that Mahatma Gandhi has always been a symbol of non-violence and a bullet is the symbol of violence. So this is what we wanted to showcase through this work.

What are the challenges you faced at the early stage of your career?

What could be the biggest problem for a middle class Indian.... Finance! And one thing leads to another. Short of finances led to a shortage of resources and of course that was a big hurdle to overcome.

What is your message for youngsters who want to pursue different art forms?

Art is something that comes straight from your heart. So just listen to it and continue creating the art form that your heart wants, not something that your client asks for. Kyunki jo dil se banta hai wahi dillagi hai.

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