He adapted cactus as a symbol to depict labor, struggle and persistence against natural elements of resistance and triumph of hard work.
During sixties Sadequain portrayed human condition in numerous drawings series, which were actually commentaries on prevailing social and cultural state titled as Cobweb Series, Crow Series, Christ Series, Hope Series, and Sun Series.
He made many puzzle “modern” pictures portraying ambiguous images of people looking like things and things looking like people. “The Last Supper” is a good example of such work. His unique strokes, style, and colour schemes give distinctive characteristic to his work.
He was one of the greatest calligraphers of our time and helped transform the art of calligraphy into serious expressionist paintings. By now, almost every artist has created some work in this field. Then he made paintings of the mellifluous and picturesque chapter of the Holy Quran - ‘Sura Rahman’. In 1972, he wrote the magnificent “Sura Yaseen” of the Holy Quran on 260 feet long wooden panels and donated it to the Lahore Museum.
In 1961 he entered the prestigious Biennale of Paris with the painting “The Last Supper” where he was adjudged “Laureate Biennale de Paris” by an international jury. In this a row of human figures was suggestively built up in abstract form through the use of crescent shapes or curved blades or exaggerated cactus thorns instead of realistic figures.
In 1960 he was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (medal). He also received President’s Medal for Pride of Performance in 1962 for his extra ordinary work in the field of art.
Sadequain painted thousands of paintings, drawings, and murals during his lifetime. He loves to distribute his work as a gift to institutions, individuals, acquaintances, and total strangers. Therefore you can find his work from hut to a palace. He hardly ever sold his work and mostly gave it away; sometimes his work was simply taken, and sometime even stolen.
Sadequain also pays homage to three legends of classical literature - Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz by illustrating their poetry on canvas. These works show his deep affection for art in all forms.
Sadequain had done 25 illustrations of the verses of Ghalib in large oil paintings for the first time ever, in 1968 - coming forty years after the publication in 1928 of Chughtai’s illustrated edition of Ghalib’s verses. With each illustration of Ghalib’s verses, Sadequain had appended a small panel on which the relevant verse was calligraphed in Urdu.
And in February, 1971, he made some large drawings, paintings and calligraphies based on the verses of the poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz to mark his sixtieth birthday. Aftaab-e-Taaza, was the illustration of lines by Allama Iqbal he made to show his reverence towards Iqbal.