Farazeh Syed (b.1971) is a Lahore based artist. She has studied at National College of Arts and at Gandhara Art School, Islamabad. She has been trained with renowned painter Iqbal Hussain for fifteen years to master figure painting and refine her visual and conceptual vocabulary. Syed attended courses in painting and drawing at Parsons and Art Students League, New York. She has been research associate at Sanjan Nagar Institute of Art and Philosophy focusing South Asian Classical Music, lectured on cultural history at National College of Arts, Musicology Department. She holds Masters (Hons.) in Visual Arts from National College of Arts. Farazeh has been exhibiting her work extensively. Her solo shows include shows at O Art Space, Lahore 2018; Sanat Gallery, Karachi 2017; Unicorn Gallery, Karachi; Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore. A two person show – ‘There is No Them’, Sanat Gallery Karachi, 2019, and group shows – ‘Self Portraits in the Age of the Selfie, COMO Museum, Lahore; The Imago Mundi Project for Pakistan, Imago Mundi Pavilion, Venice Biennale; Four Women Four Stories, Sanat Gallery Karachi; Love Letters, Sanat Gallery, Karachi; Three person show at Chawkandi Art, Karachi; MA (Hons.) Visual Arts Degree Show, Zahoor al Akhlaque Gallery, National College of Arts, Lahore; Figure in Movement, Unicorn Gallery, Karachi; New Art from Pakistan, Pakistan High Commission, London, Unicorn Gallery ; United- in the Age of Dialogue, National Art Gallery, Islamabad; Contemporary Art Fair 2011, A Rastay project; Representational is not a Dirty Word at Poppy Seed Gallery, Karachi.
Known for her often dark and tongue in cheek paintings, it is the female that dominates Syed’s imagery. Drawing upon ancient Indian art and folk texts—where ‘woman’ is the active and authoritative protagonist—and her own biography for inspiration, Syed creates bold satirical narratives that are imbued with subtle sexual undertones. She addresses issues of identity, sexuality, patriarchy and deconstructs stereotypes about beauty and the body. Syed’s thematic concern is to de-objectify and de-mystify the female body, portray ‘woman’ as an individual with agency, sexual autonomy, self-determination, and create stories that every woman can relate to.
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