Work > The Sindhu Project

The Sindhu Project embodies responses of American-based Pakistani artist Mahwish Chishty and myself, to explorations of archeological sites and artifacts in the expansive Sindhu (Indus) watershed, a geographical region stretching across northwest India and much of Pakistan. Through parallel journeys involving familial roots, Chishty and I bring contemporary art-making into dialogue with excavated forms that reimagine this ancient landscape. My work in this project references archeological sites and artifacts associated with Harappan or Indus Valley Civilization, the earliest known urban civilization of the Indian subcontinent that flourished in the Sindhu watershed from approximately 3000 BCE until 1800 BCE.

The nine series of works that respond to my visits to the Indus Valley Civilization sites of Dholavira, Gujarat and Sanghol, Punjab in India, include three-dimensional compositions, sculptures and works on paper. These mixed media works reference textures, colors, and materials associated with the Harappan sites and use riverbed soil and terra-cotta - powdered for pigment and mixed with water for molding, along with muslin, turmeric, and mulberry paper. They investigate the Harappan sites with their grid layout, artifacts, and undeciphered script while journeying from surface traces to subterranean roots, charting a course from perceptible to imperceptible. The two- person exhibit that stemmed out of this project, debuted at the South Asia Institute in Chicago in June 2021, and was showcased at the Zahoor-Ul- Akhlaq Gallery, National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, November 2021. The third and last iteration of this project will show case in an exhibition in Delhi, in April 2022. Education and dialogue has been an important component of this project since it was conceived. We have achieved it via symposiums, artist talks, museum tours, workshops etc. with an aim to create an ongoing narrative on the subject of common roots and robust cross border cultures.

What Remains
Clay and Hand Woven Cotton
48"x 36"
Broken Whole
Age Drawings
Natural Pigment on Mulberry Paper
Dig Drawings
River Bed Soil on Wasli Paper
Void Structures
Clay and River bed soil
Seal Drawings
Natural Pigment and Pottery Shard Impressions on Mulberry Paper