Mehrabpur – Sindh,Pakistan
Ayaz is one of the leading contemporary visual artists from Pakistan,celebrated for his candid views on art and art machinery . He uses an amalgamation of imagery from print media, the internet, and popular culture along with his own observations of contemporary Pakistan in his work. He incorporates diverse media and techniques, ensuring he cannot be defined by a single style. In his own words, “My ambition as an artist, if there is an ambition, is to work with all the things that I see, that I touch, that I know, that I love, or that I hate…My work is not based on any certain topic; my subject matters change time and time again, as do the techniques I use in my practice… The subject matter of my work varies from personal to political and from literary references to education. Art itself is the most important subject of discussion in my work.”A continuous thread throughout his practice is the play of text against images, which he utilizes to interrogate the definition of art and its role in the contemporary world. Jokhio trained in painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore, before starting out his career as a poet and cartoonist. He has exhibited solo and group exhibitions across the world in Japan, Germany, the UK, the USA, and Pakistan. Jokhio was the recipient of the Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship 2004-05, awarded by a prestigious foundation in Stuttgart, Germany, which promotes younger, gifted artists by means of residency fellowships. Jokhio lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan.
The Single Shot
This audio-visual project ‘The Single shot’ is a YouTube channel that welcomes everyone, who uses even a mobile phone camera, to participate by following a few simple instructions for making a single shot video that also records a complete music piece simultaneously. (Detailed instructions for how can you make and share your video with me are given under each video on this project’s channel on Youtube.) Inspiration for this project comes from Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), a well-known French writer, artist, actor and filmmaker, who once said “Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper.” Cocteau, here, is simply suggesting affordability and accessibility of an artistic medium to everyone as a fundamental constituent of art. And by suggesting inexpensiveness as a fundamental element of art, Cocteau is also questioning the role of market, commercialization and commodification that shapes this otherness of modern art and makes it an exclusive and specialized field of expertise, limited only to an elitist culture of galleries, museums and auction houses. Where art can be seen only as a sum of works circulating in the market. Cocteau gave this statement around a hundred years back, when camera was still a novel and rare invention. Now there is huge number of people who own a smart phone with camera and can make a video clip and a sort of film too, though not of the cinema quality yet. Though camera is still quite expensive; but recent developments in phone and computer technologies and its availability to masses have already started replacing even the use of pencil and paper itself.