Sandeep Kumar, an artist who hails from Tharparkar, has gained recognition for depicting Pakistan’s history by painting and depicting it on coins.
The artist spoke to a local news outlet and explained how he came to discover his passion for art as well as the concept behind his paintings.
“When I was in school in Islamkot, I didn’t have any idea what this field was, I didn’t know much about art either. I would sketch and draw a little in my sketchbook. I didn’t know I would eventually come to pursue this hobby in the future.”
“I reached intermediate and there were options to take: whether to pursue medical or engineering. The word ‘engineering’ appealed to me a bit so I decided to take that option. My cousin encouraged me to apply to an art university and see how it goes there.”
“I applied there and it was when I took the entry test that I realized the feeling of drawing and painting appealed to me. I prayed that I get accepted at this art school.”
“I got in. Classes began, and I discovered what a 2B pencil was, what charcoal was, and what oil paint was.”
He explained what led him to choose coins as a medium of depiction,
“When I entered my fourth year, we were required to do a thesis. I had to choose a topic and a concept. So I tried my hand at different things. I thought about using coins and how I can possibly present myself through these coins. I did a lot of research before I finalized this concept: I choose a coin from every year. For example, if I choose the 2010’s coin, I’d choose any major event that took place that specific year, and I try to portray the event on that year’s coin.”
“For example, in 2010, a major flood wreaked havoc on the poorest population in Pakistan. I depict that on that year’s coin. Similarly, 1999’s coin has the marshall law painted on it. 2015 depicts the start of the metro bus. This is how I’ve tried portraying our country’s most major events in history.”
One of Sandeep’s oil painting’s name is Assassination in which he has depicted Muhatarma Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on the 2007 coin.
“I’ve showed a dupatta representing her, and blood which essentially represents violence. In 2007, the effect on economy, livelihood, violence, was massive and surely everything is linked to money.”
Sandeep is extremely glad to hear he is an inspiration to many and people love his work. Talking about the dim light shed on Pakistani art, he said,