Ghulam Hussain is a visual artist from the city of Hyderabad, Sindh, home to the world’s oldest civilization called Indus Valley Civilization. He is trained in miniature painting from National College of Arts Lahore, Pakistan (2009) and works with High and Low Craft Art to represent the beauty within stark contrasts of what is considered high and low.
Ghulam’s work is distinct due to its technique and simplicity, opening up a range of possibilities both for the artist and its viewers. Going back to his roots in Pakistan’s province of Sindh, Ghulam is challenging the notion of high art by integrating forms of low craft, such as weaving and brick building, with the miniature style of painting.
Ajrak and Sindhi topi have been the symbols of Sindh’s culture and civilization for thousands of years, connected to the civilization of Mohenjo-daro built around 2500 BC. Ajrak, basically, is a name given to unique block print shawls. The Sindhi culture displays special designs and patterns in these shawls, ralli, charpai weaving, and bedsheets which associate Ghulam to his childhood memories. Inspired by children’s sensibilities and recollection, Ghulam constructs his images like the patterns weaved through in paper on canvas. His work deals with the idea of folk art and the innocence of expression, both combined and blended in a new manner.
Ghulam’s work has been exhibited both nationally as well as internationally. His work is in the collection of Devi Art Foundation, India, and has been shown at the Fifth Beijing International Art Biennial in National Art Museum, China. Ghulam has been awarded the Rockefeller Brothers Artist Residency, USA, and the Artist Students League Artist Residency, USA.