He’s now based in Blacktown in Sydney, Australia. His parents hoped to one day return to their family lands in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. As a child, Ali was deeply influenced by his grandfather, a Shanamah singer, and by the miniature paintings that illustrated the stories of the Shanamah, a tenth-century epic poem. Ali studied miniature painting at the National College of Arts, Lahore and calligraphy at Tehran University, Iran. The artist’s intricate works encompass imagery from history, politics, literature, poetry and mythology to explore contemporary events such as the civil war in Afghanistan and personal experiences of persecution, displacement and discrimination.
Ali has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2003. Selected solo exhibitions include Transition/Evacuation, ARNDT, Singapore (2015); The Haunted Lotus, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2014); Rustam, Rohtas2, Lahore (2009); Rustam, Green Cardamom, London (2007); Qaseeda-e-Rivazi,Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi (2005); and Jashn-e-Gul-e-Surkh (The Celebration of Red Tulips), Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi (2004).