Zakkir Hussain



















Kochi based artist Zakkir Hussain is known for his paintings that take viewers to a colourful fantasy-like landscape. But the landscapes here dont depict the playful or whimsical, but takes us on a journey into a unique universe of its own. Hussains universe is dense with people caught in an array of circumstances. He challenges the established notions by unsettling the viewers through the facets he touches upon, parallels he draws and  the visual that he comes up with that address the agony of life,  structures of power and imbalance in the society, inner conflicts, notion of self and how one identifies with the world at large. His paintings highlight the bond between humans and nature that manifest through the artist's incorporation of a variety of images and influences.
The physical expanse of the paper offers me sometimes hazardous and unwelcoming playground where I exchange my ideas or revise my initial responses. These revisions stand as the traces of time and movement, as amended expressions or half-formed utterances. The paper becomes the site of engagement with the real that is, in turn, influenced by interventions, interruptions and negotiations with the imaginative thought process. states Zakkir Hussain.
What comes out of this intriguing process is the imaginative expedition Hussain embarks upon. He touches upon uncertainties that pervade human life. He makes visual associations between unexpected elements, often triggering a sense of shock. The innumerable visual elements evoke deeper personal thought processes in the viewer. Hussains oeuvre deals with complexities and inner aspects of human life.
Dr. Kathleen Wyma in her essay Zakkir Hussain Procrustean  Possibilities (The Guild: 2017) analyzes how Zakkir Hussain has consistently characterized his drawings as documents of his real and imaginative journeys. In capturing a fleeting image, a snippet of sound, or a glimpse of a passing bird, Hussain creatively mirrors the aural and visual densities of his locality. Indeed, one can imagine how the amalgams of animal, figure and form that pepper his drawings reflect the dissonant snarls of congested traffic, the impatient crescendos of vehicle horns, or the occasional bleat of goats that drift up to the second floor windows of his Mattancherry studio. Hussain catalogues the cadences of urban sound in every line, every amendment, smudge or afterthought that scars the surface of his paper; however, if sound is registered in his technique and gesture, what are we to make of his visual motifs?
Presented here are four seminal works by Hussain produced at different points of time. They provide insights into the intellectual and visual engagement of Hussain for over a decade. The issues of displacement, disconnect between humanity and nature have come into fore more strikingly than ever before which makes these paintings relevant at uncertain present times, urging us to revisit them.






















2020 The Guild | All rights reserved

Find us on