Staying true to the soil



KARACHI: Designer-painter Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, colloquially known as YBQ, is set to explore the real colours of a mystic at the upcoming Telenor Fashion Pakistani Week (TFPW). With the title ‘Laal, Shah, Mast’, YBQ dedicates his collection to Sufi saints of Sindh, Laal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast. The Express Tribune takes a sneak peek into his line and what projects he has lined up.

“The collection showcases the collective strength drawn from different human emotions, as I’ve depicted rage with red, black represents mourning, and white symbolises peace,” says YBQ. Prior to showing ‘Laal, Shah, Mast’, YBQ is set for his collection titled ‘Censure’, and will put forth his line ‘Concord’ soon after the TFPW show.

On whether fashion designing or photography has been keeping him busy these days, he says, “I recently showed a small preview of my latest collection at Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), and will be showcasing another collection at TFPW at the end of this month. So, I’m mainly involved in designing these days.” But he ensures that he doesn’t confine himself as he’s “passionate about all forms of art.” He adds, “I write extensively. Anything that I make has a story behind it. The story is translated on various canvases and documented through different mediums.”

With the Pakistani fashion industry on the road to progress, YBQ feels it still has a long way to go. “In recent times, fashion has become fashionable. We are still in infancy and learning from our teething problems. Awareness has been growing but it will still take time to be an important industry in the region and internationally.”

Of his gallery, the Commune Artist Colony, which is located near Mai Kolachi, YBQ shares it has been busy with multiple projects. “Commune is a space for collaboration. It has been known to promote art and culture through various events,” he shares.  Among recent events and projects under the Commune’s belt are a trance music concert by Forever South, video shoot of Komal Rizvi’s latest song, Coke Studio gigs event, YBQ’s workshop on fashion design, and a musical evening with a delegation from the United Kingdom.

“Apart from these, photo shoots, film shoots, painting and photography exhibitions are regular features at the Commune,” YBQ states. “We hope to continue doing this for the promotion of arts and culture in the country. We will host a painting exhibition at the end of this month, and are also in talks with a US-based organisation for collaborating on a project for the promotion of mural art in the country.”

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