Rehan Siraj is an artist with a mission – he wants to highlight the achievements of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in the wars of 1965 and 1971 and peacetime. Aviation art is not new, he explains, its the art of depicting aircrafts playing various roles. “There are more paintings on war on terror in the US and UK than books these days. And as they say, a painting is a worth a thousand words,” he says in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune.
His work has been recognised both nationally and internationally. The 26-year-old artist has participated in various exhibitions held in Egypt, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Japan and won the third prize for painting the PAF Mirage aircraft taking off, in Romania in year 2000.
Reminiscent of various war heroes, his work also depicts the serving top PAF officials. His work has also been displayed at Lockheed Martin USA magazine’s website. Last year, one of his paintings was published in a German magazine along with an article on the 1971 war.
Garnering his inspiration from local and foreign artists, he cites artists like Group Captian (retd) S.M.A. Hussaini, Keith Ferris, R.G Smith, Robert Taylor, William Phillips and Ronald Wong.
A student of MBA at Virtual University, he freelances as an artist, working mainly in water colour.
His professional experience includes working in the fields of Accounting and Finance.
“My aim is to promote the achievements of PAF so that everyone knows the truth and gets motivated to serve Pakistan in a good way. I am also willing to work for airlines, aviation museums, and air force of friendly countries,” he adds.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2011.