Sadaf Farasat is a self-taught artist based in Malaysia. She received informal training in drawing from renowned artist Saeed Akhtar. After this, Sadaf launched herself as an artist working with the concepts of Sufism, and she has been painting for the last 20 years. She works with many different techniques and uses various media as well. While she has worked on different philosophies and phenomena, her core concepts revolved around the idea of Sufism.
Sadaf believes that a Sufi’s way of life is to rid oneself of selfishness and ego and work for the happiness of others. She believes in self-discipline and responsibility, and strives to reach maturity and perfection in herself.
One of the most interesting ways in which Sadaf works is her technique of ‘whirling’. Inspired by the great Sufi Rumi, Sadaf uses her painting tools and ‘whirls’ them over the canvas until the strokes create a piece of art that she is satisfied with. She uses painting as a way to reach Allah, as a way to meditate and submit to the higher power.
“Every painting of mine has a theme and conveys a message of love for Allah. As Rumi say that all loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!"
What Sadaf paints in this fashion is very soothing to the eye. The strokes of the paint, the lines, the flow of the painting, it all seems to be in perfect visual harmony with the music that is associated with Sufism.
While Sadaf has been painting for 20 years, she started taking her art as a profession only a few years ago. She has had some very successful national and international exhibitions, showing that the artist’s distinct style of painting has caught global attention. “…my paintings are always based on concepts of sufism and the verses of Rumi. I want to try and convey their teachings through my paintings. And hence, whatever image each verse or idea creates in my mind, I reproduce it on canvas.”
Other than painting in her Sufi-inspired style, Sadaf is also known for her palette knife paintings of mosques. She has experimented with a lot of materials and subjects, but it is her Islamic paintings that hold the most power. “I keep trying out new things, and stretching my boundaries. I think an artist needs to keep reinventing oneself, so that the process of creativity does not go stale.”
Perhaps it is her love for Sufism, and the constant struggle to be better and reach perfection that inspires Sadaf to keep evolving as an artist. Whatever it is, it is definitely giving the world of art something new to look forward to.