Five questions to Farrukh Addnan

Five questions to Farrukh Addnan

Farrukh Addnan is a visual artist born in Mian Channu, Punjab, Pakistan. Lives and work in Lahore, Pakistan. Through his art, he explores the traces of his ancient historic hometown, Tulamba, and its cultural memory. How did you get into art?

Growing up with limited outdoor playtime, my curiosity thrived within the confines of my home, where I discovered the captivating world of embroidery. Watching my aunts and relatives skillfully bring intricate patterns to life using techniques like phulkari and charsuti tanka sparked my fascination with the artistry involved. Volunteering to assist them in these collaborative projects became a novel way to connect with my family, and the meticulous stitching process soon became my creative outlet. Witnessing their commitment and perseverance in crafting beautiful pieces left a lasting impression on me. Beyond the joy of needlework, I delved into the cultural significance of each embroidered creation, questioning the patterns, motifs, and narratives that enriched the art. This early exposure to the world of stitching not only brought me happiness but also instilled in me a profound sense of purpose. In retrospect, those days spent confined within the walls of my home became the fertile ground where my creativity blossomed.

How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?

My artistic style is a curated journey through grounded realities, expressed in abstract and minimalistic language. Utilizing dots, varying lines, marks, letters, signs, symbols, patterns, excavation plans, surveys, and documentation, I aim to convey the multi-layered nature of these aspects within my work. My preferred mediums include pen and ink, ink washes, and various materials such as silver leaf, which oxidizes over time on wasli paper and canvas. I emphasize a universal language and symbols, seeking to establish connections between the broader world and its histories. This aspect holds particular importance to me, shaping the uniqueness of my work.How do you go about developing your work?

In developing my work as a visual artist, I center my attention on the immediate environment, capturing and documenting the fundamental elements of daily life. My inspiration is drawn from architectural spaces, particularly those found in urban cities. Construction sites, abandoned spaces, and unique temporary structures captivate me, representing the dynamic interplay between creation and destruction. The essence of life within these transitional phases becomes a focal point, shaping and influencing the development of my artistic endeavors.Who or what influences you?

The influences shaping my artistic practice are deeply rooted in ancestral connections and archaeology. Conducting archival research in my ancient hometown of Tulamba, Pakistan, I explore personal memories, collective historical events, and cultural depictions. Archaeology serves as the foundation, allowing me to connect the past and present, with memory becoming a tool for crafting independent narratives of time and place. 

I draw inspiration from archaeological works that delve into personal memories, collective history, and cultural depictions of nature. Uncovering aspects of history with a profound impact on contemporary culture sparks discussions about interpreting spaces within their contexts and the construction of those contexts.

Make us curious. What are you planning to do next?

In the coming year, I am embarking on an exciting collaboration with a Scottish artist as part of an art exchange program, exploring the intriguing theme of Displacement. This collaborative endeavor promises to bring fresh perspectives and diverse insights to our artistic dialogue. 

Additionally, I have set my sights on further academic pursuits by planning to enroll in a Ph.D. degree program. This next step will not only extend my research and studio practice but also contribute to my personal and artistic development. I am eager to delve deeper into the realms of knowledge and artistic exploration, pushing the boundaries of my creativity and contributing meaningfully to the discourse in my field. The journey ahead holds the promise of new discoveries, collaborations, and continued growth in my artistic endeavors.Learn more about the artist: