Sindh is a land of honor, pride, and magnificence. The land gave birth to the legendary Sculpture Artist of Pakistan, Mr. Faqeero Solanki, more famously referred to as Faqeero, amongst the Artist community from Tando Alhayar. Few have matched the craftsmanship and discipline of sculpting in Pakistan, but no one reaches close to the sheer magnitude of Faqeero. He has been practicing this craft all his life and, over more than 30 years, has been able to create 350+ sculptures of various personalities, individuals, and Idols.
Faqeer, like many artisans across the world, received this art through inheritance. His grandfather and father created sculptures of Idols for worship, and he learned the art of sculpting by seeing them as he grew and practicing until his hands would start to hurt. In the earlier day, as part of the Hindu community, his father and his grandfather would create Idols but did not go beyond to make the art sustainable, whereas Faqeero, on the other hand, made sure to rise above his father and his father before him to claim the throne of the best sculptor of Pakistan. To do so, he had to learn from experiences and books of legends that had passed before him in the western world.
During the learning phase, he did not possess the ease and comfort of the internet for learning and gaining knowledge. He says, “unlike my children who utilize the access to learning, I had no such privilege.” So, reading books was the best way to study new techniques and make his artwork a piece of master artists. But he did not stop there and kept on learning through the experience itself. To understand the detailing in human muscles while sculpting, he would visit the gym to see for himself the clarity required in making sculptures.
- Faqeero Solanki with his hand-crafted sculptures (Courtesy of The Express Tribune)
He would visit the jewelers to sculpt jewelry to understand how jewelry is made and the detail present in making the artifacts. With more than 350 sculptures and countless drawings and paintings present in his home, Faqeero has redefined Sculpture making in Pakistan.
-Faqeero making a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln (Picture Courtesy of Reddit)
His art and the definition of clarity speak for themselves. His discipline of work has been considered a way of guidance for people to follow for a long now. His perseverance to follow the art of his ancestors has been a beacon of hope for other artists who lost hope amidst the decrease in demand for their products. Faqeero, now famous across Pakistan, has brought a ray of hope for many artisans across the country who once believed that art does not put bread and butter on the table. As he once told in an interview to the express tribune, his routine indicates the start of his work at 9 in the morning till 6 in the evening, with no breaks in between and no extra holidays to take away the burden. For someone from a very humble background and achieving so much greatness is truly an Art itself.
-A magnificent sculpture made by Faqeero Solanki
Faqeero often speaks that life as an artist is difficult but rewarding. His art often takes him away from his family, but his worthwhile belief is mesmerizing and commendable. Faqeero is the pride of Pakistan and, without a doubt, is correctly said to be the Michelangelo of Pakistan