How a 9th generation artisan strives for success and impact in Pakistan

Hassan Kashi is an artist, teacher, and entrepreneur. 

He’s been playing with sand and mud in his village of Nasarpur, Jamshoro,since he was a little boy. “There’s something powerful about holding mitti [sand] in your hand and making something from it,” says Hassan.

A resident of Hyderabad, the 35-year-old took over the family legacy of Kashi Kari after his father’s passing in 2011.  This ancient tradition of engraving and painting tiles, pottery, and other objects, is part of Hassan’s DNA but it wasn’t until he was picked up by an art school in Lahore in 2002, that he realised his full potential.

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Hassan understands the value of the process. To constantly learn is what his father taught him and he has tried to follow his mentor’s advice to this day. Even when he was given a full ride to the National College of Arts (NCA) without any admission requirements, he insisted on going through the application process. “I wanted to take the test and give the interview so I can share this knowledge with others.”

He now heads the ceramic design department at the Centre of Excellence in Arts and Design located in Jamshoro’s Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET).

No stranger to the merits of social media and digital content for smart business, Hassan markets his work through a Facebook page – Traditional Sindh Kashi Tiles. 

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His advice to students: Don’t worry about “the scope” of your work. If you’re talented and you think you can promote your art, [your success] depends on the passion that drives you. 

Watch our interview with this 9th generation ceramic artist to discover how he was mentored by his father; how he unwittingly received a full scholarship to the NCA; and his thoughts on the artisan’s struggles in rural Pakistan.

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This story was published in association with McDonald’s Pakistan that has a consistent track record of supporting local talent.

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