Displacement and Societal Behaviours

Written by Shumaila Islam | Visual Artist, Educator, Writer, Curator

On the artistic experiences of  Abdul Hammad | Visual Artist

Born and raised in a small village of Haripur, Abdul Hammad acquired his early education from his village. At the beginning of his career, he found his inclination towards working on calligraphy because he had been studying Tajweed and Hifz -e Quran. He carried the passion far. Along with working on calligraphy, he started working on Truck art, art performances as well. He was and is always inclined towards learning arts in variation. Currently, he is doing art directions as well. He explored many mediums of arts and shifted his inclination towards exploring commercial painting such as painting signboards. After practising these genres, the desire for more learning provoked him to join Hunarkada in Islamabad. Hunarkada enabled him to shift himself to NCA, Lahore and he started his journey of advanced learning of arts. During this journey of education and skills, he won many prizes and medals. NCA, Lahore became a source of attaining great exposure to arts for him. He displays his creative potentials using his unique ideas and in his expressions.

As described in his statement, he experienced various facets of his personality shifts during this journey of attaining education and skills. He shares his experience that belonging to a religious family left his impact on people around him in a different manner, who knew and related him with this one background and on the other side, the acquaintances who knew him as a student of arts at NCA, relates him accordingly. Therefore, he experiences different aspects of external behaviours such as mockery and bullying during his displacement. Vice versa, as a reaction, he has changed his apparent personality according to the requirements of his new environments. The shift of outer personality and behaviour became an interesting concept for him as he experienced it onto himself. He started reacting differently towards materials and people. Based on visual apparencies, the construction of judgemental behaviour became a medium of thought for him and he started studying norms, cultural customs and values, laws, and political standards in context to his art ideas. He studied the rule of cause and effects as a reaction to a shift in behaviours about himself and society. He did enough experimentation using various materials and techniques for confirmation of his observations.

He plays with the idea of finding the true root of preexisted mockery in society and the manipulated one that provokes an urge in him to find the core meaning and value of understanding its origin. The same experience he wants his viewer to have. Similarly, during this phase of the physical shift to Pandemic COVID 19, he gathers heartless observations regarding displacements of people from outer spaces to inner and their changing behaviours according to current scenarios that highlight crude, selfish, and inane human behaviours commanded by survival instinct and self-centred efforts. In his current artworks, he observes the transformation of safety objects like polyethene gloves and surgical masks into suffocating elements to life, imposed by the current pandemic. The other elements are nature and human beings, who are imposed to wear these safety objects forcefully by the government of Pakistan.

I hope Hammad will continue to walk more on the same path and display all his various valuable and critical observations through his selected mediums and techniques.

July 25, 2020

TOWARDS SELF, cane stick and hammerhead, Abdul Hammad, All copyrights are retained by the artist, 2020