Art Detail | Ilham Gallery

Having had a traumatic childhood as an immigrant Indian muhajir in Pakistan, Waseem Ahmed chooses to paint miniatures because it is the only medium he feels portrays painful subjects in delicate ways. Despite a focus on contemporary political issues, his commentary is often complicated by the intervention of symbols and imageries derived from various major world religions. The result is a blend of traditional and contemporary imagery that leads the viewer to consider the roots of violence and whether the past is ever really dead.

Pigment colour, gold leaf on archival Wasli paper
29.2 x 21.3 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Waseem Ahmed
About Waseem Ahmed

Born in Hyderabad, Pakistan, in 1976, Waseem now lives and works in Lahore, where he obtained his BFA from the National College of Arts. Having witnessed conflict and intolerance firsthand, his work takes a critical view on social, political, and cultural issues. His family migrated from India to Sindh, Pakistan in 1947, and, growing up as a muhajir (immigrant) in Sindh, Waseem’s work decries social attitudes that promote suppression, hatred, and violence. He has chosen to express these ugly realities in an approachable way through beautifully and intricately rendered miniature paintings. He has exhibited widely across Europe and Asia and his works are in various private and public collections including the British Museum in London and the Anupam Poddar Collection in India. Waseem currently divides his time between his painting and his teaching at the Miniature Art department of the National College of Arts, Lahore.