Born in 1991, Affan Baghpati is based in Karachi. He completed his undergraduate studies in Fine Arts from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi in 2015 and graduate program in Art and Design Studies from Mariam Dawood School of Visual Art and Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore in 2018. Baghpati has showcased his works at AAN Gandhara, Canvas gallery, Koel gallery, and Sanat initiative in Karachi; Rohtas 2 gallery, Taseer Art gallery, Faqeer Khana Museum, and The Colony in Lahore; Satrang gallery, 12.0 Contemporary in Islamabad; Museo Diocesano Carlo Maria Martini in Milan; Aicon gallery in New York; and Twelve Gates Arts in Philadelphia. His works were also part of Karachi biennale 2017 (KB17) and KB19, Lahore biennale 2018 (LB01) and LB02; Beirut Art fair 2019; and India Art Fair 2020.
“The thoughtful, playful and occasionally menacing crisscrossing of histories, peoples and objects are riveting in Affan Baghpati’s practice. Culled from diverse probing, searching and rummaging seemingly accidental, they conceal the careful research invested in them by the artist along with a restless imagining which beckons each element in the work to declare its history, memory and desire. In one sense, artists have always borrowed from existing presences. Baghpati treats these segments with deference, as though giving each a chance at rebirth and a new history. At this point his artistic antennae are hard at work and intuition has its day. With gleeful abandon he fashions these species which intrigue, engage, captivate and, on occasion, repel the viewer.
Indifference to his practice is not an option.”1 Salima Hashmi
I collect discarded domestic objects of utility, ornamentation and figurines to re-contextualize their purpose. These discarded objects from different cultures are either losing or have already lost their function. After locating the purpose of collected objects I create a notional function by re-interpretation of their form. By drawing connections among objects I gauge Hybridity in old cultures and subcultures of present day. My objects aim on bringing viewers closer to its intimate journey and respective material culture(s). Thus an object of today is represented by objects from the past times.
1 Salima Hashmi, Alternative Imaginary ‘I try to call you but I can’t find the telephone’, (catalogue by Koel Gallery), 2019.