Simeen Farhat was born in 1968 in Karachi, Pakistan. She travels between Dallas, Karachi, and Europe to live and work. “Words —written or spoken, understood or misunderstood, poetic or prosaic, curvilinear or rectilinear, on the computer screen, or on paper—are what motivate me to create my visual narrative,” she observes. “I am fascinated by how, through language, we understand a great deal about ourselves and things around us, and how ideas: simple, complex and abstract, are conveyed and understood using symbols.” Farhat continues, “Another aspect that also intrigues and inspires me to use language as a vehicle for my art is the endless possibilities through interchanging letters, words and phrases; to express thoughts, ideas and concepts. Lastly, it is also very important for me to express these ideas from my perspective as a woman.” She continues: “Just as a literary piece is convincing when there is congruity and flow in the writing— along with interesting ideas—visual works of art, for me, become more engaging when they have a nice balance, rhythm and direction, along with a sincere thought process. ”
“As a visual artist, I do not follow the rules of any language; my intention is to reconstruct the thought process,” Farhat says. “Therefore, the text—whether they are borrowed from works of great poets and philosophers or just from a common phrase— become self-contained and dynamic visual objects. Although viewers may recognize familiar letters, words, or symbols from a particular language, however, the words in those artworks become indecipherable. My objective in choosing those words is to show the essence of their message through abstraction…. Being a female artist with a multicultural background, my objective is to also represent women’s inherent right to be expressive in how and what they feel and think. Utilizing language from appropriated text and as a metaphor, my intention is to further push the idea of empowerment for women.”
It has been said that in Farhat’s work…it is not the logic and formal structure of language that interests her but the symbolic forms which place human language at the crossroads between art, sign, symbol, sculpture, communication and representation.