The Dark in Meditation

Abdul Ali Hyder speaks of loss and memory

At first look, Ali’s work seems abstract, but it speaks of things that are very much human and universal. The relation between his work and his statement makes sense when you look at the practice from different perspectives; there are some things we can understand when we pay enough attention, while others are definitely lost in translation. Ali has not bothered with defining the experience for the audience; he has left a lot to the viewer; to interpret and find ways to relate to, or not.

His work Separation leads us to see the shape in his print as a grave. This interpretation defines death as separation (or the thought of separation). And once the viewer learns that, they imagine the complete print as a graveyard. A different eye to see the unseen makes what was once unrelatable, now stimulating. And a part of me, the viewer in this case, believes that Ali intends for us to search for him in his works as these prints have significance in his life; as a memory, feeling, a thought or an idea.

Upon close inspection, you can observe certain darkness in Ali’s work; although there is a chance that it is your reflection. There is a consistent nostalgia that partly draws from the artist’s childhood in the village; it does tempt your sense of wonder.

Each dot means something, and this particular line reveals that his expression is meditation; as if the viewers can see  Ali unravel, and through him, they take a peek into their own voids.

Written by Zainab Najeeb

Image: Separation, Abdul Ali Hyder, etching relief printing on paper, all copyrights retained by the artist 2022.