LAHORE - Mahboob Ali has produced some competent studies of Old Lahore in woodcut. He prefers to work in colour and takes great pain to register several impressions from different blocks to achieve the requisite colours and tones.

Mahboob has brought about a revolution by producing prints of nearly one hundred colours. He has used this medium extensively on a large scale very often combining several blocks, one block for each colour. He remained devoted and exploited the medium to its best for achieving unmatched results. Thus he became the forerunner of wood block printing in Pakistan winning award at national and international level. His work has been acknowledged in a book ‘Painting in Pakistan’ written by Mian Ejaz-ul Hassan.

“The art of woodcut started in Japan centuries ago. Japanese mastered this art to such an extent that their prints looked like painting. This art from them spread to China where it received another impetus. Europe tried hands on it, but failed to dominate.

“I have been working in this medium of woodcut for 50 years. In our country, paintings at exhibitions are bought mostly by people who belong to the elite class and they do this just for fun. Whereas, if a middle class artist makes something unique, it isn’t appreciated and sold easily,” Mahboob said.

About his achievements, he said that in 1971 he was awarded the first prize in a poster competition at the National College of Arts. In 1982, he won the first prize in graphics from the Punjab Arts Council, Lahore. In 1987, he organised his solo exhibition on graphics at Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu, Nepal. In 1987, he participated in 8th international triennial of committed graphic art in Berlin. In 1994, he was awarded silver medal in graphics by the president of Pakistan at the national exhibition of paintings, graphics and sculpture by the NCA Islamabad.