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‘The Son of Pakistan’ depicts the underprivileged in drawing exhibition

By Camille Dupire - Nov 01,2017 - Last updated at Nov 01,2017

Exhibition by Pakistani artist Jimmy Engineer showcases drawings of daily scenes of the poorest communities from Pakistan at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Jabal Luwebdeh (Photo by Camille Dupire)

AMMAN — “Being a good human being is more important than being a world-recognised artist,” said Pakistani artist Jimmy Engineer, who devoted his life to helping the disadvantaged people in his country.

In “Lines That Talk”, his latest exhibition showcased at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts under the patronage of HRH Princess Sarvath, the artist portrays daily scenes of the poorest communities from his native Pakistan.

“I walked for a year to visit every single village in Pakistan in order to see and feel what the poorest of the poor go through,” Engineer, who said that he walked more than 4,000 kilometres across his country, told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the exhibition.

The simplicity of the material used in his work — lines drawn by a black pencil on a blank canvas — conveys the spirit he has embraced throughout his life. “I did not live my life like a normal artist, I gave up everything I owned, every material possession and all my money which I gave to the poor, the blind, the disabled people and any less fortunate,” he explained.

“My country is my top priority and I want to give back because I was thankful. I help people for the sake of my soul and I want to encourage people to give without a motive,” the artist, who calls himself “the son of Pakistan” said, stressing “do it and forget it, don’t make your givings something to be talked about.”

The drawings, which portray daily scenes of Pakistani villages, convey a strong emotional message of simplicity. Two brothers playing, a mother caring for her child, a group of labourers resting on a mat are some of the scenes depicted by Engineer.

“I wanted to show the poor people who have nothing and make them feel special. These people I met only have their dream that, one day, someone will come down and help them,” the artist, who received over 70 international awards and medals, said.

“Engineer’s work represents his deep engagement with his society and his commitment to defend and respect humanity,” said Reem Badran, board member of the Royal Society of Fine Arts, adding “he has the passion to bring cultures closer and his love to give endlessly to the poor, to the needy and to the world”.

Engineer’s history with Jordan started in 1979, when he met with HRH Princess Wijdan who was on an official visit to Pakistan. At an exhibition presenting her with a number of local artists’ paintings, the princess was touched by Engineer’s work, whom she invited to visit the Kingdom.

His work, which remains widely undocumented as he gives his pieces away to charities and auctions for social causes, are expressions of his compassion for the people he has met. “I don’t need my life to be documented because I help people for the sake of my soul,” the man, who calls himself a social worker and a humanitarian, concluded.

The exhibition will run through November 25.

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