Ali received BFA with distinction in Painting from National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan 1992 and MFA in Drawing and Painting from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2001. He taught Drawing and Painting at the University of Minnesota as an adjunct faculty for two years before joining Appalachian State University as an Assistant Professor in 2004. Ali works in Painting, Mixed Media, Printmaking, Sculpture and Digital Imaging. His artworks have been part of several international shows such as: “Printmakers of Pakistan 1947-1997” Bradford Museum, England; “Pakistan: Another Vision” Brunei Gallery, London; “Painting Over the Lines: Five Contemporary Artists from Pakistan” Indo Center of Art and Culture, Chelsea, NY 2002; “Takhti,”Art Gallery of Mississauga, Canada 2003; “Masala: Diversity and Democracy in South Asian Art,” William Benton Museum, Storrs, Connecticut 2004; “Beyond Borders” Contemporary Art from Pakistan National Gallery of Modern Art, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, India 2005; Contemporary Printmakers from Pakistan “Festival of Muslim Cultures: UK 2006” Oriel Ceri Richards, Swansea, UK 2006; “Art Unites” 25 SAARC Artists” Lalit Kala Academi, Dehli 2007; “Moving Ahead” National Gallery of Art, Islamabad, Pakistan 2007; “Desperately Seeking Paradise” Art Dubai 2008; “Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art From Pakistan“ Asia Society, NY 2009; “State of Things: Recent Art From Pakistan,” Aicon Gallery London, 2009-2010; “Resemble, Reassemble,” Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, India 2009-10; “Mixed Up Views,” a solo show, Art Sawa, Dubai, UAE 2011 and “Homespun” Devi Foundation, New Delhi 2011.
In so-called phenomena of “globalization,” different cultures and sub-cultures not just constantly evolve but also engage in the act of discovering each other’s differences, or more politely, “diverse” opinions and ideas. As a result of this constant exchange of exposure of “the other”, transpires the notion of hybridization. I consider this sort of hyrbidity, a dichotmic process – both constructive and questionable at the same time. On one hand, it generates new possibilities of thought and imagination by merging diverse beliefs of different cultures to develop sub-cultures, and on the downside, no matter how well one translates an idea from one language / culture to the other, there remains a variable fraction of untranslatability. The failure or inability to understand each other, promotes stereotypes that eventually leads to confrontation.
Such ideas inspire the content of my work. I am interested in studying the issues of art history, critical theory, socio-political conditions and media, besides my studio practice. I like to explore different media to connect with different ideas, similarly as we in the present time, occasionally may feel connected (but may be distracted) with the over exposure of information and ideas.