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The painted veils may seem unorthodox, but they are unwaveringly paintings because they have the logic, intention, and concerns of a painter. I employ digital printing. In my “reverse� screen paintings, I don’t use a brush either. Yet there is so much hand in those paintings. 173


EVENING The trees are dark ruins of temples, seeking excuses to crumble since who knows when— their roofs are cracked, their doors lost to ancient winds. And the sky is a priest, saffron marks on his forehead, ashes smeared on his body. He sits by the temples, worn to a shadow, not looking up. Some terrible magician, hidden behind curtains, has hypnotized Time so this evening is a net in which the twilight is caught. Now darkness will never come— and there will never be morning. The sky waits for this spell to be broken, for History to tear itself from this net, for Silence to break its chains so that a symphony of conch shells may wake up the statues and a beautiful, dark goddess, her anklets echoing, may unveil herself.

Poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz Version by Agha Shahid Ali

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I wander among cultures. The chasm between abstraction, representation and manifestation is embodied in my story. Characters develop in the tension between the material and the image. 187


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