Muhammad Abrar is a visual artist and educationist based in Lahore, Pakistan. He has a BFA degree from NCA (National College of Arts) Lahore, where he was awarded Honors for his efforts in 2014. Abrar works in printmaking, painting, mosaics and performing arts. In his art practice he deals with the idea of logocentrism within the tradition of Islam. He also tries to explore and strengthen the elements of co-existence between tradition and modernity. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries nationally and internationally. He was also awarded the 11th ‘Young Artist’ award at Alhamra Art Council, Lahore in 2015. Muhammad Abrar has displayed his works at Madina Art Centre, Madina; O Art Space, Lahore; Artsoch Contemporary, Lahore; Art Chowk, Karachi; Zahor ul Ikhlaque, Lahore; Gandhara Art Space, Karachi; Rangrez Art Gallery, Lahore; Gallery 7, Karachi; Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore; Alhambra Art Council, Lahore and National College of Arts, Lahore. Alongside maintaining a diverse art practice, Abrar has been working in various projects to develop contemporary ideas of art education in different institutions. He has taught at the National College of Arts and the Lahore College for Women University in the fine arts department. His selected works are part of the permanent collection of the Madina Art Centre, Madina and Ambiance Boutique Art Hotel Karachi.
Abrar’s work develop a visual experience that can represent the logo centric notion of the divine within the tradition of Islam. The dilemma of the invisibility of the divine in this tradition, challenges the human imagination to go beyond the sensorial experience of the world and tap into the realm of revelation and linguistic beauty. Abrar’s work addresses that beauty through different ways of its implication. One of the most fascinating ideas in the Islamic tradition is the idea of “Ihsan”. The literal meaning of this word is “doing what is beautiful” in the Arabic language. It has a vast connotation of visuality that defines the highest rank in the hierarchy of spiritual enlightenment in this tradition. This hierarchy is driven from one the most prominent.
Hadith of Prophet Muhammad, when Jibraeel comes in the form of a human being and asks few questions. He also asked the question, “inform me about Ihsan”. The Prophet’s answer to that question opens up a whole new domain of visibility of the invisible that goes beyond the common understanding of this religion. It is a realm where reality becomes the comprehension of abstraction and discourse meets visuality and that is defined as the most beautiful state of human consciousness in this tradition.