Samar Zia

Samar Faisal Zia (b.1983) lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed her BFA in Painting with a minor in Miniature from Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi, graduating with a Distinction.

Her work was initially a reaction to the political situation in Pakistan. However, more recently her work has shifted from the external to the internal and is a more personal comment, dealing with the body. Zia describes her work as, ‘Initially more political, very nationalist; about identity and finding one-self in a given environment. In the recent past, however, it has become more visceral. This has to do with my encounter with the ailing human body, its resurgence, regeneration and resilience.’

Zia’s work has not only changed in terms of subject matter and imagery, it has also changed in terms of media. She no longer restricts herself to formal painting and has discovered that drawing with conte, pencil, acrylic and found materials is more fulfilling and liberating. The spontaneity is evident in her new body of work. It is bold and open to interpretation. Zia feels that art evolves with ones experiences. Her main aim is for her art to be thought-provoking and pro-active regardless of her conceptual trajectory. Her current work addresses God, Nature and what she refers to as lack of human control. What is inside the body – biology, organs, aspects of nature, these are all recurrent symbols in her drawings. Titles are quite important to her. She says they represent the ‘mind’ in one’s work. They complete the concept.

Khaas hosted Zia in a two person show with Alia Bilgrami in 2009.

Samar Zia

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