"Why are the wheels distorted?" Asked a spectator who joined the July 17th event participated by over 40 international families. They were invited by Hangzhoufeel to visit an exhibition titled "4 shadows" which is an art show of Azim's works painted in the past 10 years and divided into 4 sections.
"To admit the imperfections in life," suggested Azim from Kashmir, "art could be interpreted differently and individually."
For many people, Kashmir is no more than a geographical name.
Since 2013, this young artist has been converting the beauty of Kashmir into oil paintings and brought them to Hangzhou.
In years, he has become more nostalgic about his hometown and has added more emotions into his works.
What does hometown mean to Azim? It might be the Martand Sun Temple where he used to draw or Akingham Anantnag to watch Band Pather(kashmiri folk performances) or people's sadness hidden in the natural beauty.
"He transforms ordinary people and daily objects into art and expresses his feelings effectively with strong colors and shadows," exclaimed Yazareth Leynez from Mexico, "Azim is such a good storyteller."
Lotus leaves are another important subject in his paintings. It is a connection he found between Hangzhou and Kashmir — People canoe through the dense lotus leaves on the West Lake in the same way as people do on the Dal Lake in his hometown.
Azim considers Hangzhou his second hometown. He used to study in China Academy of Art, and now lives in Hangzhou, talking and working like a local resident.
After viewing the artworks, the spectators were invited to create an art work together— the mandala paintings. Mandalas represent the connection between one’s inner worlds and outer reality. Living in a place constantly having conflicts and wars, the Kashmiri local people never cease to seek for the peace in mind.
Azim admitted that it was not until he came to Hangzhou that he was open to an international culture. The participatory mandala activity was also a hands-down chance to introduce Kashmir.
"The painting begins from the center, radiating out with whatever symbols you wish to use." Azim explained, "each of you then add layers and colors."
Tania from Ukraine and her 5-year-old son Alex took turns to add different elements. Next to them, Daria's family and Ruby's family worked on their parts before all the separate parts were connected into a big circle. "Now all of you are in a big family." Azim smiled.
As Asilbek from Uzbekistan, Nicolas from Spain and their international team stamped their handprints to make the most creative mandala, Yazareth and her children collaborated on theirs as a family.
"Azim is an artist who finds 'delightfulness' in painting." Sun Jinggang, a professor from China Academy of Art said. Azim's delightfulness was transferred to the mandala paintings and to the smiles of each participant.