For our #FeatureFriday today, we introduce you to the stunning art world of the self-taught photo manipulation artist Rida Shah, who tries to capture the darker truths of society through her “dark and creepy” work that conveys a strong message and haunts the viewers.
Rida, who is studying Visual Communication Design from National College of Arts (NCA), has won a lot of appreciation for her photography. She has featured twice on ‘Humans of Pakistan’ and has been interviewed by Islo Times Magazine and Voice of R.
We asked Rida to tell us something about herself, her photography and how it all began. “I always loved arts and taking pictures, and I wanted to experiment with photography. Conceptual work of some artists inspired me the most, and I started experimenting. That’s how it all started,” Rida, whose biggest motivation is Abdullah Haris and Joel Robison, told us. And who is Rida’s best supporter in her family or friends’ group? Number one, her fiancé, who is a fine artist himself, “He motivates me to work and constructively criticizes my work. I’ve learned a lot from him.” And, number two, her mom, “If it weren’t for her, I would’ve never come this far,” she believes.
Rida Shah believes that her photographs can bring about a change in how people perceive Pakistan as a country in the international forum. Rida waltzed into the international art world with her forced marriage series of photographs, which has been shared by platforms like India Times and 9gag. Her inspiration behind this series came from incidents close to her heart. She says, “Some events that happened with girls in my close family and friends broke my heart, and I realized this topic is way more serious than it seems, and it’s hardly talked about.”
So, what does Rida look for before taking a picture? What are the key elements that she digs in an image? The answer is on her fingertips – “Concept, composition, and lighting, and how much of an impact it can create.”
Rida has a passion for photography and she regrets having wasted many years studying science. Her message, therefore, for the future generation in clear and strong: “Figure out your passion before it’s too late, and start working on it till you create something you can be proud of. The market is tough; there’s so much competition everywhere. Hard work and dedication is the only key.”
For Rida Shah, art is not only a medium of self-expression but also a means of addressing broader social issues of our time and bringing about a change. Her recent work on #FreeThePassion has also caught the attention of the South Asian community as generations after generations have failed to make independent life choices. With youngsters all around relating to her work, she is set for greater success.
We hope Rida’s moving artwork succeeds in forming the ripples that it seeks to create in the mind and soul of the viewers.