Pakistani artist Murad Khan Mumtaz is trained in the traditional art of North Indian painting, specifically, the miniature tradition. As a recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, he attended Columbia University, New York, and is an accomplished artist and teacher. As small acts of remembrance, his paintings meditate on traces of traditional culture that are disappearing in the materialistic landscape of contemporary life. While his previous body of work has been more immediate with political overtones, the artist comments that his current work—often using natural pigments and handmade paper—”is quieter and more contemplative. It aspires towards beauty, not as a subjective sensationalism which ‘lies in the eyes of the beholder’, but as something for which the eye has to be trained before the beholder can internalize and assimilate it in order to understand it”.
Symbiotic relationships and symbolic associations between land and people are celebrated. The evocative mood captured in each painting is parallel to his personal experience; Mumtaz spent time among the Sioux, who inhabited the Great Plains area and the Pueblo Indians of southwestern United States. A native of Lahore, Mumtaz is a co-founder of the Hast-O-Neest Center for Traditional Art and Culture. He divides his time between Lahore and Charlottesville, Virginia, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in South Asian art history at the University of Virginia.