Hyper Real Zoomable Portraits

After much deliberation, I am pleased that the wealth of details held in these portraits can now be fluidly viewed online via Zoomable.

My desire to seek out masks worn in the name of masculinity, started with a working title Mas(k)culinities. Realised after a few years that it’s not just the men scarred by the expected role play of their gender, notion of what is considered feminine, has equally damaged generations upon generations. Behind the making of these images hides much more detail. Heart to heart, frank interviews in which people shared personal narratives of how they grappled with societal expectations of gender, masks that were discarded along the way, and those they still hold on to.

1001 UnMasked – Portraits of Gender is it’s current iteration, with over a hundred finished portraits made during the past six years. Process of making more is on hold since couple of years back my computer’s motherboard died. Much gratitude for this gap, as it has allowed me space to seek avenues to best experience the work.  During this time I also started life drawing again after nearly three decades. It’s become clear to me now, that as a human being I seek a connection with my fellow humans. Whether through touch therapy, drawing or photography, my role is that of a facilitator or conduit. My self, mirrored in the people I engage with, is represented back with love. It is a joint endeavour. It is our story.

Shahrazad wove story after story to stay alive at the hands of the king. I don’t have a sword hanging above my head, though it’s an innate need to tell and retell stories. It’s in the telling of stories that all the subjects silently gaze into your eyes. Seemingly ordinary becomes extraordinary when a heart recognises the other.

My heart is so small
Its almost invisible.
How can You place
Such big sorrows in it?
“Look”, He answered.
“Your eyes are even smaller,
yet they behold the world”


28 thoughts on “Hyper Real Zoomable Portraits”

  1. Soon after gazing at each portrait, my iPad became a microscope! This further enhanced my experience of your wonderful talents of capturing a moment of your subject’s inner and outer beauty. How marvelously stunning!

    1. Theo thank you so much! Rather than a singular moment as is the case with a photograph, these portraits contain many moments amalgamated together.

  2. Ohhh My God, the images are stunning ..I am in awww. Such a treat ❤. Thank you so much for this amazing experience :)))

    1. Thank you Helen, however the real beauty of these lies in the choices of sections you bypass or the time to take to linger on.

    1. Ustad banany ka shukrya. Thank you Noni, so pleased you were able to see these. Soon I will be releasing more of them.

  3. Found it difficult to move on from each image Ali. These are truly amazing, intriguing, interesting and captivating. Thank you

    1. So pleased to hear the portraits kept you engaged. The silent gaze has that quality to engage one for quite some time!

  4. Very inspiring and thoughtfully beautiful. Very simple and deep at the same time. Excellent talent! Thank you!

    1. Next in Pakistan, I want to arrange some sessions there too! Have to figure how to make my studio mobile and travel friendly

    1. Soon I will share your portrait too Marco! This post was to really get to grips with presenting high resolution on all devices.

    1. Gods are in the detail 🙂 Trying to figure still, ways to present images minimally in a grid rather than having to scroll too much. All in good time.

    1. Being able to view so effortlessly is absolutely incredible. Now got to figure a way of more user friendly and designed considerations Thank you for the guidance thus far meherbano <3

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