Abdul Basit: An engineer with creative temper
Post by Insha Latief Khan on Sunday, October 23, 2022
Abdul Basit had always been fascinated by art and photography. Instead, he studied engineering because a photographer or artist was no career option back in Kashmir years ago.
Hailing from Srinagar, he said, “I was inclined towards art and during school days, I would do painting, cartooning and sketching. There was no one to teach me so it was all self-taught.”
With time, his artistic temper was enhanced with every appreciation he used to receive from his family and peers.
His interest grew in photography and he went outside Kashmir to pursue courses to hone his skills and also participated in a few exhibitions. He believes that he feels complete with a camera in his hand. “Engineering and photography would sound weird to most people but I believe what matters is that I chose to be different and tried to create my own path,” he said.
Anything that interests him from static architecture to dynamic landscape becomes his capturing shot. The old architecture of downtown Srinagar which he referred to as treasure, fascinates him more.
He said, “The things that belong to the past should be digitally preserved. Many of my relatives live in the old city, Srinagar. I have observed that much of the architecture of the downtown has changed so I tried to preserve the architecture in my pictures so that we can show it to the younger generations,” he said.
During his stay in South Africa, he used to get enough free time which turned him towards portrait sketching and painting. “I learnt what came my way. I think an artist must possess many skills and should learn more. Art is vast and it is limitless and it would take a lifetime to learn,” he said.
He further said that his artistic temper made him experiment with snow as well and was the first one to make snow sculptures in Kashmir. The very first snow sculpture he made was a crocodile and the other one was a dinosaur of his height.
He said, “During those winters, we had some friends from outside Kashmir here who were fascinated to see snow but when I made sculptures out of snow, they were amazed. They clicked pictures and uploaded them on social media which in no time garnered huge attention.”
Since then, everyone in the neighborhood would look forward to Basit making sculptures in the snow season.
By and by, he keeps on adding new skills to his skillset. At home, he saw a pile of cardboard boxes and started making stuff out of it. F1 car, boat, tank, JCB, the robotic character in the famous movie, WALL-E and many more have been made by him.
He said, “I see everything as a subject and I am obsessed with making anything creative."
Talking about the artist community, he said that artists are still struggling to make recognition in society.
“Although artists have the power to change the world, still, they are not able to get societal support. Other places in and outside India appreciate art. There should be more awareness among people and artists should be given the respect they deserve,” he said.