The exhibition of Sadia Hyat Khan’s ‘spiritually charged’ bags inscribed with sufi message was inaugurated at Nomad Gallery on Sunday.
“The bags are mostly made of cotton and linen. Sadia’s work is inspired by Bulleh Shah’s verses. The bags also have the evil eye on them,” commented Nomad Gallery Director Nageen Hyat.
The bags in earth tones of beige with inscriptions, designs and calligraphy dangled from bamboo shoots fixed onto the gallery’s ceiling. There is a sense of spiritual cohesiveness to the exhibition, as the bags are displayed alongside Shafique Farooqi’s paintings of swirling dervishes. A quiet, positive mysticism prevails.
“Both Sadia and Farooqi’s works are on display for today,” said Nageen Hyat. “We wanted to link up his Sufi works with Sadia’s bags.”
Meanwhile, Sadia entertained guests with charm and magnetism, all of whom were gushing about the bags.
“I’m a big believer of the evil eye,” said the artist, “and spiritualism is a part of my life. I’m quite a dervish myself,” she announced good-naturedly. “I also love positive poetry and you can see that I’ve got Buleh Shah’s words on the bags. It’s my way to reach out to the new generation, who don’t know much about sufi-mysticism; it’s an important part of our culture and heritage.”
Sadia was inspired to come out with her collection while reading Paulo Coelho. She wanted to imbibe his positive message for readers artistically: “I thought so much was lacking in our culture, especially in terms of spiritualism. Like Coelho, I wanted to put something spiritual and positive for our culture.”
What’s more, these bags don’t solely function as fashionable totes — they double up as esoteric charms against the ubiquitous evil eye and negative energy because Sadia has imparted her own positive mojo and prayers into their seams. “I actually got the beads I put on the bags from tasbees and prayed on them before I sowed them in.”
Fashion and mysticism blend seamlessly in this collection to revitalize our spiritual roots with durable bags that are “funky and contemporary for everyday usage.” More fashionable than your average taveez and a lot more modern than prayer beads, these bags are a must-have for those seeking a spark of positive, sufi energy in their lives.
Following the one-day exhibition, ‘dervish’ bags will be available at Nomad Gallery.