(Saud Baloch, 28, a fine art artist, stands near his sculpture called “No Fear” during an interview with Reuters at the National College of Arts in Lahore March 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza)

A gold bullet on top of Islamic stencilling, open sores and festering wounds, life-size sculptures of silenced men whose faces are obscured.

Pakistan’s sectarian crisis has grown so acute that it is creeping into the country’s contemporary art scene, spurring young artists to question the causes and assumptions behind the violent Sunni-Shi’ite divide.

Hardline Sunni groups have killed hundreds of minority Shi’ites in suicide bomb attacks and shootings.

Shi’ites say they are living in a state of siege, and some call it genocide. Fear has driven some families abroad while others have taken up arms against groups backed by al Qaeda.