17-May-2024
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Zargar Zahoor: The Master Artist Teaching Art in Kashmir

Zargar Zahoor's contribution to the art scene in Kashmir is commendable. He is not only teaching art to aspiring artists but also using it as a tool to fight mental health issues.

Zargar Zahoor is a master artist who has dedicated his life to art and is now imparting art education in his homeland, Kashmir. He started his art classes at his studio in Zakura in Srinagar in 2017. With over 40 years of experience, he teaches art for almost free to aspiring artists in Kashmir. In this article, we will explore Zargar Zahoor’s journey as an artist and his contribution to the art scene in Kashmir.

Early Life and Education

Zargar Zahoor was born in Khawaja Bazar, Srinagar, and his love for art began in kindergarten. He pursued art throughout school and joined MS University of Baroda to graduate. He later became the first person in Kashmir to have done a Masters’s degree in Visualization, with his mother’s support.

Masood Hussain Zargar
Masood Hussain Zargar’s Art/Paintings (Photo by DNN)

Career as an Artist

Zargar Zahoor joined the faculty of Fine Arts at Jamia Millia Islamia in 1985, where he worked for 30 years. During this time, he worked with some renowned artists in the history of India, such as A.R Nair, Paramjit Singh, and Jatin Das. Mr. Zahoor developed a unique style of landscape painting that captured the beauty of sunrise and sunset. Over the years, he participated in more than 50 exhibitions, and his work was appreciated by the World Bank and exhibited at Parliament House and Lalit Kala Akademi Delhi.

Masood Hussain Zargar
Masood Hussain Zargar’s Studio (Photo by DNN)

Contribution to Art in Kashmir

After retiring from JMI in 2014, Zargar Zahoor decided to return to his homeland and impart his knowledge and skills to aspiring artists in Kashmir. He started conducting in-person classes at his art studio in Zakura, teaching the primary language of art and polishing the potential skills of aspirants. He also conducts daily online classes to engage more students.

Zargar Zahoor conducts free outdoor art classes for Kashmir students of all ages and backgrounds. He offers training in various techniques, including landscape and portrait. The classes have responded positively, with professionals like doctors and engineers participating.

Masood Hussain Zargar
Masood Hussain Zargar (Photo by DNN)

Using Art as a Tool to Fight Mental Health Issues

Zargar Zahoor also believes in using art as a tool to fight mental health issues. He believes art is soul food and suggests more people in Kashmir use it to channel anxiety and intrusive thoughts. He laments the rising mental health crisis in Kashmir and advocates for art to address it.

Conclusion

Zargar Zahoor’s contribution to the art scene in Kashmir is commendable. He is not only teaching art to aspiring artists but also using it as a tool to fight mental health issues. His dedication to his homeland and his love for art is truly inspiring. He hopes to cultivate in Kashmiri folks the meaning and purpose of art and enlighten them with the economic avenues that art can bring.

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