Abdul Jabbar Gull
I cannot say exactly when or where I first began to realize that art would become my vocation. Growing up in Mirpurkhas, a remote area in Pakistan that does not have any conventional art activities associated with larger towns, I remember on my way to school seeing a sign painter that used to work in calligraphy and make portraits. Watching him at work motivated me to attempt calligraphy and make sketches on my schoolbooks.
Later, as an art student at the National College of Art, Lahore, I explored the various disciplines. In sculpture I found what I had been searching for all along. It helped me develop my senses and increased my awareness towards the world around me. I learnt to see and feel my surroundings in an entirely new way. I found my passion.
The human form for me is the most important phenomenon of the Universe. It is a major source of inspiration in my work. Additive processes like modeling and subtractive processes like carving behave in very different ways. I enjoy working in both mediums to reveal varied forms.
I find wood to be a sympathetic medium; its organic nature enhances my quest and continues it. My carvings in wood set out to explore numerous questions arising from the changing circumstances of my life. I have no conclusions, so my work speaks of the mysteries and ambiguities faced in this process.
When I look back on my work I find the main sources of inspiration are Humanity, Spiritual Belief, Politics and Human Beings, especially ordinary people. I call them `Ordinary Souls' and I am one of them so I endeavour to express their common sufferings, grief, and relationships on individual and collective levels. Exploring different Religions I examined spirituality, Sufism and the diversity of different sects. In politics I have addressed local and global issues and the war of propaganda that has been misleading us.
Once, after visiting my studio someone asked: "What motivates you to work?" I replied, most probably the urge for self expression; as a sensitive being I feel and experience inner and outer world impressions that I share through my work.
I pondered that question many times; what motivates you to work; and realized it is not as simplified as thought. I questioned myself: Do I truly work to express myself, or for fame and appreciation, or to prove how talented I am. The answer was accumulative of all, but the percentage of the first reason was highest by far.
So, if I work to express myself then what is my `self'? Who am I, where have I come from, why am I here, to where must I return? ...and my mind is in turmoil again To me inquiry is life and while it exists questioning is the essence of it if one is to keep moving and evolving. So much is happening out there that one cannot cease to question oneself... especially if you are an Artist.
Date of Birth: October 06, 1969
Place of Birth: Mirpurkhas (Sindh)
1993 to1996 Bachelor degree of Fine Arts in Sculpture from National College of Arts Lahore Pakistan.
1990 to1992 Studied Design including Ceramics, Photography and Print making at National College of Arts Lahore Pakistan.
December 2006 Solo show of sculpture and Paintings at Commune Artist Colony Karachi.
April 2006 Solo show of sculpture and Paintings at Nomad Gallery Islamabad.
July 2005 Solo show of Sculpture at Canvas Gallery Karachi, Pakistan.
February 2005 Solo show of sculpture and Paintings at Nomad Gallery Islamabad.
January 2005 Solo show of Paintings and Sculptures at Ejaz Galleries, Lahore.
August 2004 Solo show of Paintings and Sculptures at Canvas Gallery, Karachi.
April 2003 Solo show of Sculpture at Canvas Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
May 2000 Solo show of Sculpture at Canvas Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
March 2006 12th Dhaka International Biennale Bangladesh.
December 2005 “The Art of Giving” Exhibition and auction London.
December 2005 VASL residency show at VM Gallery Karachi.
August 2005 Show of Pakistani art at Malaysia.
February 2005 “Beyond Borders” Show at NGMA Bombay India.
June 2002 Group show at Fordsburg’s Artists Studios, Johannesburg SA.
March 2002 “Urran” Group exhibition at Amin Guljee Gallery Karachi.
March 2001 Takhti exhibition at Gallery Sadequain Karachi.
November 2000 “The experimental space” group show of Sculpture and Paintings
at Karachi Arts Council.
November 1996 Group show of Sculpture at Lahore Art Gallery Lahore, Pakistan
April 1996 Group show of Sculpture at French Center Islamabad, Pakistan
May 1994 Group show of Sculpture at Xinhua Art Gallery Lahore, Pakistan
1990 to 2005 All Punjab Artist association exhibitions and Young artist Exhibitions held at Al-Hamra Art Gallery Lahore Pakistan.
November 2005 Participated in two exhibition and auction for earthquake fund raising in
2003 “National Excellence Award” for sculpture by Pakistan National Council of Arts.
2001 Selected for Fords burg’s Residency Program at Johannesburg SA.
1996 Punjab Artist Association Award for Sculpture.
1996 Awarded by the Faculty of NCA for stage Designing.
2002 Conducted workshop at Funda Community College, Johannesburg, South Africa.
1996 to1997 Teaching Sculpture at Lahore Art Gallery.
1998 to Date Teaching Sculpture at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Karachi.
Conducting Sculpture workshops at Indus Valley School of Art &
“COINS MURAL” A large 18 ft x 24 ft mural for The State Bank of Pakistan.
Several projects of Sculptures and Paintings done for commercial and private sector.
Participated in a workshop by American painter BILL DREW on Renaissance painting technique
Participated in a sculpture workshop at French Center Islamabad in collaboration with Egyptian
Embassy against terrorism.
Painted portraits for Government and private sector.
Modeled portrait of late justice DURAB PATEL for Human rights Head Office.
Attended a workshop of pottery by local potters of Pakistan at CIAC Karachi.
Worked as a freelance stage designer for several commercial shows and Annual function of
National College of Arts.
Interview telecast by TV ONE Television network July 2007.
Interview telecast by HUM Television network 2006.
Interview telecast by Sunbiz Television network 2006.
A discussion on TV ONE ” Why Art is important for a Nation” in 2005.
Interview telecast by INDUS TV, SUN TV and TV ONE and HUM TV in 2005. Work reviewed by
Marjorie Husain & Salwat Ali in Dawn Gallery December 2005.
Reviews by Quddus Mirzza & Mohsin Jaffery in The News.
Review by Nilofar Farrrukh in News Line Magazine August 2005.
Review by Asim Butt & Nilofar Bakhtiyar in Friday Times.
Review by Shamim Akhtar in MAG 2005.
Interview telecast by PTV World on February 2005.
Interview telecast by “Style Dunya” Channel on January 2005.
Review by Bibi Gul in Gallery magazine of DAWN in January 2005.
Review by Amna shoukat in “ABC” Magazine of Nation News paper.
“Speechless art” Review in The NEWS by Quddus Mirza 2005.
“New Dimensions” by Shamim Akhter in Daily times.
“Celebrating Ordinary souls” by Marjorie Hussain in Gallery magazine of DAWN in Aug 2004.
“Artist most extra ordinare” Review in Mr. Magazine V-3 by Nafisa Rizvi.
“Searching for truth” Review in Gallery Magazine by Marjorie Hussain March 2003
“The Other Plane” Review by Nillofur Furrukh in News line May 2003
“The Other Plane” Review by Nillofur Furrukh in News line May 2003
“Together in Prayer” Review in Friday times by Muna siddiqui
Review in “Herald” May 2003
“Aura of spirituality” interview by Amra Ali in Gallery magazine of DAWN in Feb 2002.
“African Experience” by Marjorie Hussain in Gallery magazine of DAWN in Aug 2002.
Interview telecast by ARY Channel in December 2001.
“In Harmony with Nature” Review of the exhibition by Niilofer Farrukh in REVIEW magazine of
Interview telecast by Pakistan Television in June 2000.
“In the studio with Abdul Jabbar Gull” An Article in SHE Magazine of June 2000 by Marjorie
“Sculpted Realities” by Shamim Akhter in MAG magazine of May 2000.
“Chiseled Camaraderie” review by Nyla Daud in Nation news paper Dec 1996.