Since 1988, Farah Mahbub has been exhibiting as a photographer in Pakistan and abroad. Equally adept in analogue printing as she is in the digital darkroom, her work traverses from documentary to digital photo-montage techniques, incorporating layers of light, shade, textures, architecture, natural objects, animals, landscapes and calligraphic text. Her visual-scapes, often unpopulated, are as dense as the multiple meanings they extend to, inspired by philosophical discourse on Sufism; insights garnered from traveling and reflections on nature in the respite of her studio. Over the years, her art has assembled equal praise and critique, as the local art industry has moved towards accepting photography as a fine art medium while abandoning notions of analogue purism.
For Farah Mahbub, photography allows her to reconcile the rift between mindfulness and expression. Only when ideas and intuitions connect with imagery, can thought and execution become one. From this unity of value, a visual language emerges that speaks from imagination and familiarity; it speaks back to the audience, to the news, to foresight, to philosophy, to awe. As a highly personal form of communication, the image offers an open point of engagement: both the maker and the consumer seek out a confirmation of themselves through the layers of meaning that allow the image to transcend its two-dimensional limitations. Thus, the silence of the photograph cries out; but you are quiet, and so am I.