BY Imran Qureshi in Interviews | 19 FEB 16

Questionnaire: Imran Qureshi

Q. What should change? A. My hairstyle.

BY Imran Qureshi in Interviews | 19 FEB 16

Aisha Khalid, Your Way Begins on the Other Side, 2014, gold-plated and stainless steel pins on velvet and silk, installation view at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto. Courtesy the Aga Khan Museum and the artist

What images keep you company in the space where you work?

I don’t know about images, but music is great company while I am working – mainly Pakistani pop and Indian Bollywood music.

What was the first piece of art that really mattered to you?

It is perhaps too difficult for me to mention just one work here. As an art student at National College of Arts, Lahore, I liked a series of drawings by David Hockney that I found in a catalogue, their playfulness and their freedom, but then I also loved Frida Kahlo’s powerful and emotionally charged vocabulary. A couple of my art teachers were very inspirational as well, including Quddus Mirza, who makes large oil paintings on canvas. 

If you could live with only one piece of art what would it be?

My wife Aisha Khalid’s huge tapestry, Your Way Begins on the Other Side (2014). It’s now part of The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada, and is such a mesmerizing piece of art. 

What is your favourite title of an art work?

Very recently I was in Los Angeles visiting the Broad Art Museum, and I saw a sculpture by Sarah Lucas and Oliver Garbay called Love is a Bird, Love is a Burden (2009). I found that title very poetic: simple, effective and moving. In fact, I loved it so much that, straight after learning the name, I decided to buy an edition!

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

My very oldest and largest dream: writing and directing feature films.

What music are you listening to?

These days I am listening a lot Pakistani pop music from Coke Studio, a television series where a group of young Pakistani musicians – folk, classical and traditional – revive a lot of traditional music that has somehow faded with time in a very innovative and contemporary way. 

What are you reading?

The daily newspapers. 

What do you like the look of?

My wife and I are currently building our new house in Lahore in collaboration with an architect friend, Raza Ali Dada. This is first time we have worked with architecture outside of an artistic context, and it is an amazing experience seeing work being done on such a grand scale, with very common and organic materials being used in such an experimental and unique way.

Imran Qureshi (b.1972) is an artist based in Lahore, Pakistan. Recently, he has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France; and Nature Morte (with Aisha Khalid), New Dehli, India. ‘Where the Shadows are so Deep’, a new commission for Barbican Art Gallery, London, is on view until 10 July.