What do you like about Doha?
I have been going to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but Doha is very clean and has its own style. It is going to be a major centre of art.
What are your projects in Doha?
I have been working for a few years on the history of Arab civilisation. I will be doing 99 paintings for the Museum of Modern Art. It will house works from around the world, especially from the Arab world, not from the west.
When will it be completed?
I have already exhibited 20 of my paintings at the Museum of Islamic Art, which is the classical one. The Museum of Modern Art will have a soft launch this year. But the building is not ready yet. It might take two years.
Besides the work for the museum, what are your other projects in Qatar?
I will be working on many other things as well. She [Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned] has invited me to live here. I will be working.
After Gajagamini and Meenaxi, will we get to see another Husain movie?
Yes. My next movie will be a comedy. I will start work by the end of this year. I will make it here or in Europe; it will be international.
Who will be part of the cast?
We will see. The film will not be commercial. It will be like a work of art.
Your son Owais is planning a documentary on your life and work. How is that shaping up?
He is still writing the script. It will take time.
How has the journey as a painter been?
My journey is still on. What is important to me is continuity. As long as you live, you paint, there is no end to it. Creativity is a circle. You start at some point and take it further, then someone else comes and takes it up. That’s how the world progresses. Just like the Great Creator, you have to create.
Has the nomad in you made you a better artist?
It has to reflect, right? All of my life I have never stayed in one place. I have painted in China, in Russia. It is my passion to work in different places. Some people just sit down and just focus on one thing all their life. Each one has their own way of creating. My vision is different. I am not satisfied with just one area or one part.
Some people call you India’s Picasso.
Picasso was the great giant of last century, but he chose to sit in one place. I am quite opposite to that. If you get the opportunity you do it. How you use the opportunity that comes your way is your choice.
Are you happy?
At this age to come here and get all the facilities to work, I think I am really fortunate. If you are sitting in one place and cribbing, you will be cribbing all your life. It is your choice. I take life as it comes.