Veera Rustomji (b. 1992) is a visual artist and writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She graduated in 2015 from the Department of Fine Art of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. A recipient of the Rangoonwala Trust Academic Scholarship, she continues to conduct research for her practice that is driven by her interest in the parallel dialogues of migration and heritage. At present, she is work-ing as an assistant coordinator for Vasl Artists’ Association and pursues freelance writing with numer-ous publications. Veera has displayed her work within Pakistan and was an artist in residence for the 2017 Murree Museum Artists' Residency.


With an interest in archiving and documenting information around the Parsi community of Karachi, my practice has developed from utilizing personal family documents and photographs to creating my own documentation of the engulfing city of Karachi. I find it increasingly interestingly how minority communities are heavily reliant on oral mythologies and how family documents are a source of chronological history and religious values.
Hence, much of my research draws parallels with the city of Karachi and its rapid urbanization which inevitably eradicates past connections and narratives that are embedded in tangible and intangible forms within the fabric of the landscape and environment.Much of my process is through the lens of my camera as I pedantically photograph and film aspects of the city and its’ residents which stir my curiosity.
Through my work I try to look and question our notion of history and culture; what are the aspirations of societies which range from upper economic to lesser privileged stratas? How does our sense of environment, architecture and the use of vernacu-lar reflect family values and our notions of success? And, more recently, what are the repercussions for an increasingly polarized city where the documentation of heritage is sparse and limited?


The clattering of Mahjong tiles echoes in my ears. The soft but firm green sued lining of the table has just been brushed and cleaned by the ayah. I’m in the kitchen and I turn to my grandmother one last time before I’m pushed out into the living room, “Please don’t make me hold the tray of glasses” I begged, “It’s too heavy for me.” Of course, my whining does not get me anywhere and while I count every footstep I somehow make it to the war zone. With their perfectly filed nails, they assemble the mahjong tiles over batasas and tea, strategically distracting one another in hopes of veering the game towards their favour. It’s only 4:00 pm – the day is young and my nightmare has only just begun.
Veera Rustomji
Mahjong War 3, 2017
Oil on canvas
30.5 x 21.6 cm (12 x 8 ½ in)
Veera Rustomji
Mahjong Players, 2017
Oil on canvas
29.8 x 40.6 cm (11 ¾ x 16 in)