Please tell us about your background as an artist and your education in this regard
In 2006, I did my Bachelorâ€™s in Fine Arts, specializing in Indo-Persian Miniature Painting, and in 2012, I did my Masterâ€™s in Visual Arts (M.A honours) both from The National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan.Â Before this, I went to the Lahore Grammar School, Defence Branch, and The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Lahore.
Which artists, local or international, have influenced or informed your point of view the most?
Famous miniatures, poetry, and storiesÂ from such great masterpieces as Shahnama of Firdausi, especially under the patronage of Shah Tahmasp and Mohammad Juki, Hamzanama, Mirajnama, The Conference of the Birds by Farid ud din Attar, Maqamat or Sessions of Al-Hariri, Diwan of Hafez, The Khamsa of Nizami, and The Haft Awrang by Jami are some of my major literary and artistic inspirations. As far as the great painters of these manuscripts are concerned, undoubtedly painters such asÂ Kamal ud-Din Behzad Heraw1, Mir Sayyid Ali, Reza I Abbasi, Sadiqi Beg, Khawaja Abdus Samad,and Agha Mirak who for the first time brought individualization, free manner of interpretation, of portraiture and nature in the World of Islamic Art as we see it now.
Sana Kazi’s work takes you on a sweeping journey of deftness and grace through the narratives of Sufi poets and thinkers. Both intellectual and mystic, there are no boundaries to what Kazi can accomplish with exhibitions both internationally as well as locally. Sana catches up with Afshan Shafi for an insightful interview
What has been a seminal, life changing experience in terms of your art?Â
A meeting with a group of professionals and intellectuals i.e. doctors, engineers, musicians, painters, lawyers, and writers from the Chishtia order in 2016 changed my views on art and literature, and nurtured my existing practice with a profound meaning and purpose.Â Frequent visits and sittings with these bright and talented individuals developed my understanding towards Beauty, and the Beautiful, or as is the Prophetic (SAW) saying, â€œAllah is Beautiful and loves Beauty.â€
The aspect of sublime beauty and its incorporation through image and its concept has been the most life changing experience for me.
Which of your creations are you most attached to and why?Â Â
Attachment to any given thing has never been a part of my art practice, in regard to painting or even its concept. I paint, the transitory, what is in transit and the passing of every single aspect of life, searching and yearning to be with the One and Only Constant, which is God.
What themes do you find yourself drawn towards most often in your art?Â
The only theme of love, as Waris Shah explains in his poetry, is that all worship is based and is through the circle of love, not by fear or any law and ordinance. Work is worship and worship is nothing without love.
This â€œis the freest and the most accepting of times that the world has ever seenâ€
If you could travel back in time to an era in art history which period would you choose and why?Â
This time, this age, this era, I would rather be here than any other time ever. We may not broadly categorize any specific art movement at the moment, but it is the freest and the most accepting of times that the world has ever seen.
What is your dream project?Â Â
I am currently in process of two projects, which were my dream projects, and have come to reality, hoping for their completion in 2019. Those projects involve materials and concepts that no one in my knowledge has ever attempted before. So letâ€™s see.
Which work of art do you wish you owned?
The complete Shahnama under the patronage of Shah Tahmasp.
â€œA meeting with a group of professionals and intellectuals i.e. doctors, engineers, musicians, painters, lawyers, and writers from the Chishtia order in 2016 changed my views on art and literature, and nurtured my existing practice with a profound meaning and purposeâ€
Whose portrait would you love to make?
A portrait is in process a surprise that shall unravel itself in March 2019 in Karachi. It is a portrait of someone I had only dreamed I would make one day. So I am, and letâ€™s see how it turns out. Its titled, Shaikha, meaning calling out to Shaikh, (teacher, murshid.)
Which artists living or dead would you have loved to collaborate with?
Reza I Abassi
What are you working on as a future project?Â
Currently I am working on solo shows in Italy, France, Karachi and Lahore for 2019.
Photography by Raza Ali