Dr. Abdullah M. I. Syed is an artist, designer, and scholar working in Sydney, Karachi, and New York. Syed’s was awarded his PhD in Art Media and Design by the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in 2015. His dissertation, titled ‘The Art of Barzakh: The Poses, Props and Performances of Masculinity in Pakistani Art’, was derived from vernacular and esoteric sources. Syed’s research revealed a series of common visual tropes whose symbolism were unpacked through Syed’s interdisciplinary art practice as poetic expressions of jalāl (majesty) and jamāl (beauty) to illustrate how Pakistani artists may construct and critically analyse representations of male bodies and the myths of Islamic masculinity, whether present or inferred. He coined the descriptor Art of Barzakh – (Barzakh’s literal translation, ‘a veil or partition between two things’) – a liminal zone between Islamic tradition and contemporary innovation where despotic identities reside, conceptualise, and operate from. Syed has exhibited and performed widely, and has curated exhibitions in Pakistan, Australia, and the US for which he has contributed catalogue essays – notably a survey exhibition of drawings by Michael Esson (2010), a survey exhibition of prints by Michael Kempson (2010, co-authored with Roohi Ahmed), Remarking | Remaking: The Australian Drawing Connections (2012), Aboriginal Dreams (2010), Semblance of Order (2013), and Drawn to Form: The Matter in Hand (2015). Syed has also contributed reviews and research articles to Imprint Australia, Southerly journal and TAASA Review. More recently, Syed is conducting and publishing an artist interview series for exhibition catalogues and monographs, notability Adeel-uz-Zafar’s Monomania (2015), Ben Rak’s Images of Scratchers (2017), and Roohi Ahmed’s The Distance Between Two Points (2018).