Ayaz Jokhio
16 April – 27 April, 2015

Born in Mehrabpur, Sindh, AyazJokhio’s work draws inspiration from children and their innate ability to visually express themselves. His’charcoal drawings on paper’ are in black and white so that viewers, with childlike curiosity, can imagine the colours they would like to see in the visual. The multidisciplinary artist has held numerous exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad and has been a resident artist in Switzerland, Germany and Japan. His work was currently shown at Art Dubai.

Jokhio currently lives in Lahore and teaches at the School of Visual Arts and Design, BNU.


The tale of colors remains extensive, like some story, a novel, and an essay or like any long poem. Whereas in contrast, the black and white remains brief, restricted like a two-line verse, a couplet. Working without colors, to me is like working excluded, and omitted any further surplus information. Colors are like a name, an address, a belonging and black and white like any Stranger. It only suggests singularity i.e., that he is a human, a man or a woman; but it excludes a name, an address. All the other constructed information remains hypothetical and imaginary. In a black and white picture, an umbrella could be of any color. Every viewer could think of a color at his/her own will; whereas in a colorful picture, the yellow umbrella remains yellow. So it is with black and white, that there remains an incompleteness awaited to be filled by a viewer.

‘Ideas are black and white.’

It’s just a poetic metaphor. It doesn’t mean that in ideas, in imaginations; the garden can’t be green or blood can’t be red. But likewise, as in any black and white picture, the blue sky looks of Grey; so as in ideas the color of blood could be black.

I’ve always felt of ‘Ideas’ like ‘Drawings’, sketched with some black lines over the white paper of thoughts; like “fill in the colors” exercise for children. We fill colors in them with our expression. For me making art is like making “fill in the blanks” picture for children, in which every viewer could fill his/her intended colors, and from which every viewer could extract and read at his/her own capacity. By “Making pictures for children”, I don’t mean at all that I think of my viewers as children; but that only the wisdom of fully ripen age can be used to criticize at and write a five thousand word review over art. But making art, and in order to enjoy it; along with that wisdom, one needs a curiosity and an innocence of a child also.
I don’t like Picasso that much. Neither have I looked a lot of his work, nor got me interested in it. But what I got interested in, and have remembered from his introduction to me; is a Line.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

I find roots of art in the childish pranks rather in the histories of traditions and philosophies. The art which is the product of two centuries of rotten philosophies of western charms and elegances, is only restricted in its nature to schools, exhibitions, museums, critics, dealers and buyers or to a very certain wealthy elite class of a society; which then only ends up functioning as an object?a commodity. But art, which I am referring here, has an essential reference to life. The joy that a child gets in his lisp rather than in a usual discourse is the joy in art. Art in a way is the interval of childhood and adulthood.

-Ayaz Jokhio