Muhammad Shafiq

Muhammad Shafiq
Born at Saharanpur (India) in 1941, Shafiq understands perspective, which is his forte. Aware of the vanishing-points and the eye-levels, the artist never lets anything vanish and yet everything is within his eye-level, however, high or low.
The interiors of Wazir Khan or the Badshahi mosques are as eye-catching as the exteriors of Lahore Fort, Lal Fort, Chuburji, or Taj Mahal because of his colours that give the impression of an ever youthful glow of sunlight typical to these historical cities while these paintings seem like a photographic art.
Known for his large pictures, Shafiq experiments with various techniques and media but as an aquarellist, he has contributed his share in recording and documenting Lahore for the posterity. Ironically, his work is a warning loaded charge sheet for our generation busy in cutting down trees, vandalizing monuments and choking the smoky streets with encroachments.
Shafiq thus holds a magic mirror for younger generation to see a rewind of Lahore that already was.
Talking to this scribe, Taqi Sadeghi said the cultural legacy of Pakistan and Iran wa the same.
“Both have similarity in culture and the architectural buildings found in Pakistan are the same with the ancient Iran. While watching these magnificent water colour paintings of ancient master piece architectural buildings, it seems that I am standing in my own country- Iran,” Sadeghi said with a tinge of smile.
He said that mosaic work and art used in these buildings were similar to that found in Iran. “Shafiq has dexterously tried to promote the cultural heritage of both countries through his art,” Iranian Cultural Counsel added.
The art used in these paintings are as similar as the philosophy of Allama Iqbal for both the countries. “Just like Hafiz and Shirazi could not be separated from Urdu art and literature, similarly, Iqbal’s work could not be ignored in Iranian art, culture and literature,” Sadeghi maintained.
Talking about the role of media in projecting the art, Sadeghi said media is doing wonderfully well in promotion and preservation of art and culture of both friendly countries. He also congratulated the artist Shafiq for his work and curator of Jharoka Art Gallery Naheeda Raza for holding this exhibition.
Well-known artists, Rasheed Butt, Najam Kazmi and Naheeda Raza said that the paintings narrated the history of old Lahore in a painting form and reflected the socio-cultural realities of that age of 15 and 16 centuries. “Shafiq has brought out the jewel-like intricacies of carvings, mouldings, balconies and doorways in even the most decrepit structures. His paintings evoke a strong urge to protect, preserveand document this rich cultural legacy,” they concluded.