The 612-page ‘search for his Master’

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The 612-page ‘In Search of My Master’, illustrating Jimmy Engineer’s work carried out during the last four decades by means of 500 pictures, was recently launched for the media at Abaan a Lebanese restaurant. Karachi-based writer Marjorie Hussain, speaking on the occasion, termed Engineer a social crusader and said that she was thrilled to be able to participate in the book. Jimmy’s inclination to find out historic buildings around the globe resulted in the Architectural Heritage Series, as he created a space to contain them – seeing a world in which tolerance was universal. Landscape reflects his love for his country and the natural world is a source of motivation for him, resulting in the paintings of the nature’s wonders around him. To create awareness for future generations and the populace overseas, his artworks includes the creation of Pakistan, the infinite variety of its regions, its people and their lives.
“The people associated with art and culture are ambassadors, who represent their countries in a better way,” Engineer said.
Recalling his meeting with Javed Iqbal, he revealed it was Allama Iqbal’s prediction that whoever painted Javed Nama would carve his name in art history: “Earlier Chughtai and Behzad too painted segments of Javed Nama,” he added.
The artist said a miracle he had experienced at the age of six changed his life: “The doctors told me that I only had three months to live but when I survived, they were perplexed as to why I did not die. Both my kidneys had failed, but phenomenally, God gave me a chance to do better things in life,” he said.
He said he was a disciple of Sufi Barkat Ali, who taught him not to be disappointed if things went wrong.
During his career, Engineer has created thousands of artworks including calligraphies. Around 200,000 prints of his exquisite work are in private collections in more than 50 countries. Though Jimmy has held over 60 art exhibitions around the world, he has seldom exhibited at commercial galleries due to his mystic beliefs.
Engineer, 58, was born in Balochistan in a Parsi family, but grew up to shatter the hurdles of social order, faith and belief. He got his early education from the St Anthony’s High School in Lahore and the Forman Christian College before going to the National College of Arts. He turned into a professional painter at the age of 23. Though he is an artist by profession, his true zeal in life has been a profound concern for fellow human beings and their wellbeing.
Numerous walks have taken him across the length and breadth of the country in pursuit of diverse objectives, mostly to promote human rights, enhance the quality of life and to create an equitable civil society in Pakistan. He has led more than 50 walks for noble causes in addition to arranging 150 awareness programs for handicapped, blind and orphan children. The formal launching of the book is scheduled to take place on January 27.