Chip off the old block: Brothers pair up to create furniture with a Sindhi twist

Abdul Jabbar Gul and Abdul Sattar combine their skills in art and design.

Asif Umar July 23, 2011
Chip off the old block: Brothers pair up to create furniture with a Sindhi twist


After earning acclaim for his wood sculptures and painting, both nationally and internationally artist Abdul Jabbar has begun to shift his attention to the field of design.

He collaborated with his brother, Abdul Sattar, who studied design at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA) and the duo are now displaying their work at the Canvas Gallery from July 22 to 27. For Jabbar, it is all about exploring new avenues and engraving bits of his life into his designs.

"My carvings in wood explore the questions that arise from the changing circumstances of my life," he explained.

The brothers decided to take on furniture after numerous recommendations from their peers and named their brand 'Vada furniture'. "The word 'vada' means carpenter in Sindhi, so we decided to use it as our brand name, since it signifies the local origins of the work and sounds rather catchy."

Jabbar told The Express Tribune about how the work being displayed was not driven by the same philosophy that governs his art, but is derivative of the technical and stylistic skills he has accumulated over years of whittling woodwork. It is also tempered by his brother's knowledge of design.

"I find wood to be a sympathetic medium, its organic nature enhances my quest and keeps me going," said Jabbar. On the other hand, he did not see it as a shift from his personal comfort zone as people in his family have worked with metal and wood for generations.

The work itself testifies to Jabbar's desire to preserve the natural beauty of texture. The organic quality of Jabbar's pieces and method of sculpting is framed in Sattar's linear design work. Glass, metal and wood all combine seamlessly without any of the individual materials overpowering the others. Similarly, even the more linear designs show hints of the imperfect raw medium used, such as growth rings, knots and grains.

Armughan Faruqi, a student at IVSAA, has seen Sattar's previous exhibitions at school and felt that "both men's skills are seasoned so the quality of their work is always present. Their work also among the most economically priced - far less expensive than most other designers - showing that they understand the market and their customers as well."

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.


PK Christian (Suhail) | 12 years ago | Reply Unfortunately this terrible angle of the table or poorly shot photograph does not do justice to the art.
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