Team coP: So how did you get involved in contemporary Pakistani art and what inspired you to write a blog about it?
Jehan: I was born and raised in Islamabad, Pakistan and am currently about to wrap up my Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art and Political Science fromSmith College in Massachusetts.
I have been passionate about visual art as far as I can remember but my time at Smith specifically pushed me to think more critically about where art, politics and culture could (and should) intersect. There would be semesters where I would be studying about U.S Foreign Policy in Pakistan, South Asian History, Modernism and Photography all at the same time - and I found myself thinking how my artistic practice needed to be informed by my politics and my culture. At times, I wondered if I only felt this way because of the country I was coming from (although nothing as simplistic as that, of course).
This line of thinking got me interested in learning more about contemporary Pakistani artists. I was interested in seeing how established artists from this particular country, at this particular time, were working to reconcile their nationality and their culture with their art. I subscribed to various South Asian Art magazines and blogs and was so excited to learn about so much thoughtful work being produced from my part of the world. I finally decided to start a Tumblr about Contemporary Pakistani Art since I not only wanted to keep a record of my favorite artists in a way but to also create a safe space where South Asian art enthusiasts could learn more about art being produced from that region in the world. I also wanted to help create more awareness about these artists, in whatever way I could, since I believe that the art world (still) needs to be challenged to think more critically about cultural context and politics.