TUSIF AHMAD

ABOUT TUSIF

The art of papercutting involves the artist cutting a whole painting from a single piece of paper resulting in a painstakingly intricate and fragile piece of art.
I have been interested in art from a young age. As a teenager growing up in Pakistan, I would take a bus from my home in Rawalpindi to the house of Sadequain, one of Pakistan’s most respected artists, in Islamabad. Every chance I could, over the course of five years, I would sit with Sadequain and watch him create, get him tea, and learn from his artistry. It was the best training a young artist could have received. During that time, I did pen and ink drawings, mainly of landscapes and other elements that captured the world’s beauty.

I also got a degree in Computer Science. For the next 20 years, I worked in several fields from furniture manufacturing in Kuwait to jewelry design in Cyprus. More recently, I started my own information technology consulting firm, EshalSoft, and work as a software developer with companies around the world.

It was not until I moved to Australia in 2006, that I started doing paper cutting art. And that too, by accident. One day, my daughter, five years old at the time, came up to me and said, “Baba, I’m bored.” I picked up a white piece of paper, folded it several times, and started snipping corners with a scissor. When I unfolded it, it looked like a sunflower. I was amazed at the beauty that could be created with a simple piece of paper and a scissor.

For the past 12 years, I’ve created hundreds of art pieces, exhibited in galleries around the world, and won national and international awards. One honor that I’m particularly proud of is that I am the only paper cutting artist in the world that focuses on Islamic stories.

My goal with my paper cutting art is twofold: first I want to create the “WOW” factor – to make something so precise, detailed, unique and fragile, in a medium that people are not used to seeing, that viewers are completely surprised by the outcome. I think it encourages people to spend time examining the intricacy of the art, asking questions about the stories and verses that are represented, and sharing their own stories about faith and life.

Second, I want to use my art to build bridges of understanding. I focus on depicting stories that faith traditions have in common and sharing verses of the Quran that reveal the values of Islam. People become interested in learning about the stories that each piece portrays, and are excited when they find commonalities with their own faith. I hope that my art can reveal the beauty of my faith and perhaps even help dispel misperceptions about Islam. Because for me, it’s not just about selling a piece of art, it’s about sharing something beautiful, making a connection, and leaving a positive mark on the world.

Awards and Auctions

2021

2nd prize for Art For The Love Of Muhammad (PBUH)
Islamic Arts Society, Houston, USA

Title: Commissioned Artwork by :
Australian Army Museum of Western Australia

2019

Title: Kaswah Kabbah Purchased by :
International Museum of Muslim Cultures – America’s first Muslim Museum

Auctioned artworks (One – 9500 USD and the other was on silent auction)
The Citizens Foundation, Washington – USA

Auctioned one artwork (10,000 USD )
The Concordia Forum (Canada)

2018

Winner of Open Category Award
Rockingham Arts Council, Rockingham, WA

Achievement Award
Pakistan Association of Western Australia

2017

All exhibited artwork was purchased by:
Comsats University – Islamabad
The exhibition was inaugurated by Australian High Commission to Pakistan.

2015

Title: Baab Al-Iman – Purchased by:
Islamic Museum of Australia – Melbourne

2014
Highly Commended Art Award – Cossack Art Award
City of Karratha, WA

Exhibtion

Solo

2019 – St. John Anglican Church, Fremantle, Australia

2018 – Islamic Museum of Australia, Melbourne, Australia

2018 – Labyrinth Path Art Gallery , Medina, Western Australia

2018 – Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth, Australia

2017 – COMSATS Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan

2017 – COMSATS Art Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan

2017 – Kwinana Library, Kwinana, Australia

2015 – Rosewood Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2013 – Nomad Gallery, Islamabad, Pakistan

2013 – Mountford Gallery, Pemberton, Australia

2012 – Kulcha Art Gallery, Fremantle, Australia

2002 – Omikron Gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus

2002 – Sultan Art Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait

1987 – Rawalpindi Arts Council, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Group

2019 – The Concordia Forum, Blue Mountain, Toronto, Canada

2017 – Rockingham Arts Council, Rockingham, Australia

2016 – Muslim Life Style Show, London, United Kingdom

2014 – Mandurah Art Awards, Mandurah, Australia

2014 – Cossack Art Award, City of Karratha, Australia

2013 – Mandurah Art Awards, Mandurah, Australia

2012 – Mandurah Art Awards, Mandurah, Australia

2012 – Gadfly Gallery, Perth, Australia

2006 – Artisans Margaret River, Margaret River, Australia

2005 – Hunderkada Art Council, Islamabad, Pakistan

2003 – Omikron Gallery, Larnaca, Cyprus

2002 – Lazurde Gold Jewelry Company, Saudi Arabia

2000 – Islamabad Arts Council, Islamabad, Pakistan

1999 – Sultan Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Exhibition Gallery

COMSATS Arts Gallery – Islamabad, Pakistan

Darius Wells Centre, City of kwinana, WA Australia

2016 - Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2016 - Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad Pakistan