Working mainly with the technique of Gouache on Wasli, Rabia Farooqui explores the links and the tension that exists between traditional and modern practices, influenced largely by guidelines already set in stone.
Building characters as an accessory, Farooqui’s delicate gouache paintings touch on issues such as cultural self-definition and the authority of traditions with undertones of satire and derisive humor.
She sets the stage in a theatrical manner by creating narratives that display an array of complex reactions to situations that are disturbing or unacceptable to the person experiencing them. Influenced by topics such as bullying, she questions the authority of the one passing judgement.
Her resulting montages of gestures and images often counter the narrative associations suggested by the isolated scenes and offer a greater plurality of meanings. The narrative is revealed in juxtapositions: her imagery conveys harmony and discord, security and disruption – and she focuses on the voids left between these extremes, the uncomfortable existence of between-ness. By using the process of montage to combine and reorganise imagery, Farooqui illustrates again, that meaning is constructed.