Mubina Asif

T6 interviews Toronto based artist
Mubina Asif


Mubina, thank you for joining us!

Your practice seems to center around themes of migration and memory – is there a reason you are particularly drawn to these issues?

In my life I have migrated to many places, and this constant shifting and movement has silently left a strong and bold mark on my mind. Memories for me are everything, I hold them carefully inside me. Sometimes I feel I have a cabinet of curiosities in me, where on each shelf I have my memories of people and places carefully positioned on display. I can grab them whenever I want, especially when I am in search of new themes and ideas. These stored memories of my past jump in front of my eyes and overpower my thoughts, and whatever I create has the reflection of my past and the places I have been.


How do you engage with the idea of cultural identity in your work?

Toronto is a city of diversity and multiple cultures. Conformity is good when you want to become part of a new place, but being different and being yourself is more essential in my eyes. It is always important to remember where you come from and the different and unique qualities you brought with you that can diversify the culture of your new home. My Diaspora strongly informs my artwork, and most of my themes link different cultures together. This is very important in my vision, and now that the world is becoming a melting pot of different cultures we must accept the differences that we each have and try to celebrate them positively.


What do you enjoy most about the painting process? Do you ever work with other media?

The best part for me in my work is when I use my hands to spread and mix colors. I love creating blends and effects with my palm and fingers, and the finest work comes out when I work freely and boldly using primary colors. I have worked with almost every media by now including wet, dry and digital. My aim is to create an artwork that intermingles several media together, including traditional, contemporary and digital.


Who are some of your favorite artists?

Picasso and Van Gogh were my childhood inspiration. I always wanted to feel their paintings and when recently I got a chance to see those masterpieces at Art Gallery Ontario, Toronto (especially the starry night)  it was like dream come true. Frida Kahlo’s art is very inspirational for me, as I appreciate the representation of her own persona and the glimpse of her life that is evident in her work.


Are you working on any new projects?

Yes, currently I am working on two large pieces that integrate complex geometric patterns with objects. Patterns are a very strong representation of our thoughts and values. I always use simple or complex patterns in my work. Through the mode of connection, I want to represent how I am linking my thoughts to create a grid. The eye can catch the sequence and by connecting those grids you can create a whole cosmos.




Mubina Asif, Aura

Mubina’s series AURA overlays patterns and bold colours to create surreal spaces, fusing traditional and contemporary motifs to examine issues of identity and womanhood. The collection of five images investigates memory, diaspora, faith and motherhood. The work comments on the complexity and diversity of the external and internal influences that can make up our concept of ‘self’.


Mubina Asif is currently completing the final year of her BFA at York Univeristy.

For more information on Mubina’s work she can be contacted via:




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