Synochoblog began as a germ of an idea, in August of 2022, amidst very detailed online interview sessions, with a prominent journalist and author Melissa Randhawa for a book about my transformation from an adman to an artist living and working in Dubai, for the past two decades.


What in a name? A rose by any other name will smell as good, but I wonder if it will feel so rosy. I grew up with the name Aslam, given by my maternal grandmother, and inherited Noor, the light from my father. Shams (or Shems) is the tribal caravan I come from, All these names influenced my life. Who am I has been a big question and subject of search all my life?  ArtNoor is my art name and has been my identity and self-image all these years. Will I continue to have it or morph into an avatar in the metaverse, I can’t say as yet.


Born around Delhi on the twenty-first day of the ninth month of the first year of swinging sixties. I completed my university-level education there and then went to intern with Frank Simoes in Bombay in 1982, Founded my first company in 1985 (Shems) with its offices and studios in Greater Kailash. Later added a second technology company (Combit) in 1995, and bid farewell to both in 2002 to evolve into a full-time artist in 2003. I have witnessed 4 media revolutions and the fifth is just about beginning with AI on the scene. There are loads of lessons from the road and I am still learning,


I arrived in Oman on a Scuba Diving trip in 2001, to take a sabbatical from two decades in advertising, and decided to stay in Dubai, cofounding a company in Dubai Internet City in 2003. Later that year, found myself in the only art museum in UAE then, the Sharjah Art Museum, in a day-long session of discussion, with prominent artists from war-torn Iraq, I rented a sea-facing apartment near the museum and embarked on the tumultuous journey of an artist. The Journey is still on, and I can feel the future, not like an astrologer but as an artist.


Dubai is known for its materialistic opulence. and not so much for its intellectual pursuits, not directed at making a quick buck or swinging some mega-deal. Apparently, my focus is on spiritual subjects like love, god, and other intangibles which can only be felt and not seen, in sharp contrast. The real richness is intangible, as proved by the logic of emotions. Our planet is changing really fast on every level and how do we deal with the changes on a daily basis is a big question to answer every other day, like many others on this planet who know of changes in store for us.


I love Dubai and the loads that happen around here. The multicultural anonymity, Talented People, Breathtaking Views of the desert, and the seasonal highlights of the region provide refreshing interludes of the normal humdrum of life. Great venues, events, and People I come across are interesting subjects that I haven’t written about and would love to.


Being an avid reader and passionate about everything visual, since early childhood, I was drawn to the most creative and cutting-edge field of advertising in the seventies with a camera in hand and pen tucked in the front right-hand pocket of my faded bellbottom jeans, of a brand called JOB, bought on one of my trip to Bangkok.


Much of my early professional focus began with studying advertising at the university level, and was sustained by Reading passionately augmented it. Travel is a practical teacher for the adventure seekers like me. Throughout the nineties. I would make trips to the annual Lions ad festival at Cannes (France) and take excursions to art museums in France, London, New York, or wherever I went. Logical Proof that your life today prepares you for tomorrow. Most creative projects follow a similar trajectory and process and can be managed given the right knowledge and patience to go through the stages.


There’s a logic to defying logic in the creative and spiritual realms That probably was the cradle of abstract art. Where the feeling right brain declares supremacy over the logical right brain. My decision to abandon the <techvertising > took root in this state of mind and blossomed inside a transformed warehouse in a free zone at Sharjah Airport. Twenty-one years of Experiments with thousands of canvases taught me lessons with sweat, tears, and blood at times. It would be such a colossus waste if I don’t pass it on.

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