Irfan Cheema


Opening Reception: February 2, 2023
Time: 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Tanzara Gallery, Islamabad
Exhibition continues until

Tanzara Gallery takes great pleasure in presenting once again the work of Irfan Cheema. Born in 1975, Irfan first publicly exhibited his still life work in 2017 in a solo show that was immediately noticed and favourably received by artists, collectors, and critics. He has, since regularly showcased his new paintings in solo shows and museum exhibitions in Pakistan, country of his birth, China, where he has been residing for nearly two decades and more recently in the United Kingdom. In his own words his work is a celebration of nature, life, and heritage of places that he has visited, lived in, and loved.


Though painting from an early age it was in his thirties that oil painting became an important part of his daily routine. His paintings, which may all be described as beautiful, make references to beauty in its various guises and attributes such as nature and sensuality, extravagance of motifs and richness of colour, and yet there is an ever-prevailing sense of temporality characterising his work. Set indoors, laid out on stone ledges usually with dark backgrounds of indefinable colour and lit with morning light from a single source, his subject carefully placed along sweeping folds of intricately woven and richly hued shawls, are suspended in time and space.

‘Florilegium’ is a selection of work from 2022 and is an expression of appreciation for artist’s garden in his Shanghai home that in his own words was a source of great joy and a site of quiet contemplation during a trying time of the year. ‘The city struggled with pandemic, and we were confined to our homes during spring and early summer. My small garden was a refuge where I could escape from all cares and uncertainties amongst cascading nasturtiums and glowing sunflowers. It was a place that remained unaffected, and where nature generously proffered her gifts. Here I truly understood the oft heard that where flowers bloom so does hope.’

Florilegium is his eighth solo exhibition.