Asim Waqif: Detached Attachment

“Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness,”says John Ruskin

And increased attachment to these possessions lead to stagnation and disillusionment. And that’s exactly what Asim tried to share with the young artists at Art1st’s Partner a Master series.

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Destruction of creation, for Asim, is the beginning of new creation, new ideas, meaningful engagement with the empty space within us. His artworks often employ manual processes that are deliberately painstaking and laborious while the products themselves are often temporary and sometimes even designed to decay. He feels that the entrapment of the memory of his creation and then detachment with its physical form, liberates him, frees him.

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In the workshop the children also laboured for close to 10-12 hours to explore the lightness of the innovative material- elephant grass (sarkhanda), rubber bands, cotton threads (soot), toothpicks, butter paper, handmade paper- and give their ideas a sculptural dimension.

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For one of the young artist, her creation was rooted in the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking. Her wishing charm was a portal for winds to carry the messages of people, a haven for an innocent man’s prayer.

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Some designed flying birds as it reminded them of flight and beauty. They were disturbed at the disappearing population of birds because of pollution, mobile towers and felt that the future will taken over by artificial elements stealing from them the purity of nature.

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After hours of hard work, when the work was displayed, Asim asked the children to destroy it. They were stupified and their eyes were wide open with many curious questions, the most common being, ‘Why would someone destroy their work after putting in so much of hard work?” 

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After much reluctance they did destroy what they had created and it left them with mixed reactions:

 

–       What a beautiful experience, we created something with so much of passion and hard work and suddenly we were asked to destroy it. It makes me feel so light

 

–       I never thought that I would create something and then destroy it. I have never done this before and it is such a liberating feeling.

 

–       I am not very happy about the fact that I made this with a lot of effort and I had to destroy it

 

 They took back with them a valuable lesson of detachment. Will it stay with them or how will it surface in their lives only time will tell. But one thing is for sure, the image of their work before destruction is etched forever.

 

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