There’s no denying that the word ‘paper-cut’ makes us all feel slightly uncomfortable but pair the word with the artist Tusif Ahmad, and you are bound to be amazed by his impossibly detailed and intricately carved Islamic art.
Born and bred in Pakistan, Tusif is a Software Developer by profession and a self-made paper cutting artist, now based in Perth, Australia.
“Back in the day as a young child, I was into art and used pen & ink to sketch in the humble medium of paper. My art work is inspired by Sadequain Ahmed Naqvi, a world renowned Pakistani artist and Ehsaan Qureshi, whom I have learnt a great deal from and consider them as my mentors,” he said, adding that he would go into the wilderness and faithfully get in touch with nature.
“It was when I realised that I enjoyed recording botanical illustrations,” Tusif recalled with a hint of reminiscences of childhood in his voice.
On asking what got him started with the art of paper-cutting, the steady-handed artist shared an interesting event.
Ten years ago, while encouraging his daughter’s creative flair to cut-out images and designs out of simple accessories, he stumbled on a dimension he was meant to excel in.
Who would’ve thought that a simple act of channelling a child’s imagination could lead him to design such stunning creations?
Tusif has taken the ancient art of paper-cutting and redefined it through detailed ornamentation of Arabic motif art. He explains the time-taking process as follows,
“Conception of a creative idea after extensive research is followed by cutting up countless pieces of paper and drawing the outline of the perceived images on the back of the paper. Finally, integration of all the pieces together is what requires extreme precision- a skill that has taken me years to master.”
“My passion for paper-cutting is well suited to the tradition of Islamic art. I love doing Arabic calligraphy, it’s a soul-nurturing experience that allows me to imbude my love for the Holy Quran and beloved Prophet; an appreciation I remember developing in the company of my father.” he informed enthusiastically,
“My art work is predominantly inspired by the wonderful religion that Islam is and although my work may not have been financially rewarding owing to the misconceptions toward Islam and Muslims in the Western countries. But I’ll always do my part to advocate the true picture of Islam.”
Tusif is currently working on a project titled, “Ar-Rahman”, which is based on combing his calligraphic skills with the beautiful versus of Surah-e-Rahman, the Holy Quran.
The artwork will be showcased in an exhibition in Dec 2018.