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Mohsin Shafi

Gul-e-Lala: Exploring Love and Romance


17/11/2021 –
– 30/11

On Wednesday, Nov 17th, artist in residence Mohsin Shafi hosted a dinner for our guests, where he shared the findings from his research on longing and belonging, against the backdrop of the yearn for endless tulips and his nostalgia about romance.

Using Indian classic cinema as a channel for dialogue for his project during the residency, the artist reflects on his encounters with lonesomeness and amorousness under the shades of bitter truths of modern day relationships, in contrast to his core ideas of romance from collective pasts and personal memories. His core ideas for the residency in The Netherlands, sprouted from Indian films from the 80s and 90s in which hero and heroine were shown against very romantic backdrops of lush green scenery and flowers, climaxing in elaborate songs and choreographies.

Since September, Shafi has been exploring conventional and unconventional ideas of reminiscence, vulnerability and expectations in/of love. His writings during the residency draws upon blurred boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, satire and desires, confession and critical engagement.

The evening’s dinner was provided by artist and cook Mattia Papp.

Read an article about Shafi’s residency and presentation here.


About Mohsin Shafi is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Lahore – Pakistan. His practice focuses on his South Asian identity and its intersectional relationships with his national, cultural, spiritual and religious interpretations. From an art-as-therapy perspective, he aims to support an ethic of radical empathy through his works by combining sentiments of tragedy, tenderness and humor.


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