‘South Asia has a strong cultural history’

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KARACHI – “South Asia has a strong cultural history and the people of this region have played a major role in constructing a strong social bond within a society where social values are preferred and practiced like religious rituals,” says artist Asad Hayee.
The subcontinent has a strong political history and has seen a long era of colonial rule, which has left a deep impact on the people of the region, he adds. He says that the society that emerged after the independence has gone through several political changes.
“Being an artist, I try to challenge the gender discriminations in my society and I have tried to question the existing norms and values of society,” he adds. The artist says that in this male-dominated culture, a man goes through a lot of pressures too as he has to be courageous and strong enough to control his emotions.
“A man’s role is considered like an icon and it is very common to hear that he should not cry like girls who are considered to be inferior to men.” Hayee says that in this so-called male-dominated society, women have been performing a dominant role in the lives of men as their mothers, sisters or wives.
“In my works, I try to explore and experiment with different mediums. I have worked with metaphors to juxtapose my thoughts as visuals.” He says that the human body has always inspired artists around the world as they have used both male and female forms in their paintings to question the norms of their societies.
“In my society though, the male figure has not been exposed much as compared to the female form.”
Photos courtesy VASL Art