34-year-old artist and narrative painter, Azim Hassan from south Kashmir’s district Anantnag, embarked on his journey from Srinagar to Hangzhou province of China to unveil the canvas of his creative pursuits.“It was always my dream to bring our stories creatively —sad, somber or joyous on the international platforms,” painter, Azim Hassan, tells Greater Kashmir over phone from Hangzhou, China.
He believes that one cannot learn art. “When an artist is born, he is born with art and then he learns and evolves with its nuances,” he says. “One needs to have an interest in it and then you fall in love, like I am in love with it right now. ”During the pandemic, the young artist has created some of the most ambitious works of his career—large, figurative paintings.‘In conversation with Bulbul’ depicts a woman in Shikara having a chat with Bulbul.
The composition of oils on the canvas creates a serene effect with its heavy use of light shades. Adorned with Kashmiri symbols of lake, Shikara, bulbul and a young beautiful lady, this landscape presents the peaceful side of the valley.“I want the viewers to stop and think about the valley for what it is best known for: serenity and hospitality.
The Bulbul in Kashmiri tradition is a good omen; when a bulbul sings, guests are expected to grace a home with their presence,” Hassan says.Born and brought up in south Kashmir’s district Anantnag, Azim Hassan an artist who tells stories through his art has a long way to go. His brother and his first critic, Hanan Baba says that Azim’s narrative paintings paint an image of Kashmir: its people, its streets, the majestic mountains, the open meadows, the culture, traditions, and the history.
“There is a depth in his paintings which can’t escape the viewer’s eyes. It is evident both in my technique, where he uses layers of colors to give the canvas an organic feel; in my concept, where every symbol and motif in the painting tells a story,” Baba says.
Azim received his Bachelors from Kashmir University in Fine Arts. He went to Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi. Graduated with a Masters in painting and later went straight to China for a second Masters in fine arts in oil painting from the prestigious China Academy of Art.
"This really evolved my perspective of paintings and the art scene,” he says.
“Though I was studying away from home, my art shows that my heart is still in Kashmir.”
Azim's ongoing solo exhibition featured mini Kashmir in China and his work was hailed by fellow artists. Titled as 'Four Shadows' saw many known faces of Shanghai thronging the exhibition which is being organised at Shanghai.
Azim also did a series of Paintings on Kashmiri folk theatre, Bhand Pather. In love with his culture but at the same time deeply concerned, Azim says
“I try my best to immortalize the dying Kashmiri art, architecture and culture through my paintings. We have to make Kashmiris aware about their own art and heritage.”
Azim currently lives and works in Hangzhou China. He was also awarded Chinese Government Scholarship for Master in Oil Painting in 2013 and earlier he was part of the UNAOC Summer School Portugal, Europe. He currently works as an Art Teacher at Hangzhou Vocational school for Arts – Hangzhou China. Earlier he was a visiting Art Instructor, DaJia Art School.