Now, the Pakistani artist, who calls Oman home, is using his paintings to draw attention to the abuse of children, and raise awareness of the Whispers of Serenity Clinic in Athaiba, which offers counselling and different types of therapy, including art, for victims of abuse.
"It's such a taboo subject for everybody to talk about. It's been a taboo subject for me to talk about," says Gailani, who suffered abuse at the hands of servants and relatives from the age of six until he was a teenager.
He didn't admit the abuse until he was 35 years old and met a psychologist in Sweden, who helped him address his past. He then began painting as a way to express his emotions.
The exhibition, which will take place on April 20 at the Whispers of Serenity Clinic, will include 21 paintings in three series, Internal Shame, Letting Go, and Healing. The canvases range from dark and painful, to light and peaceful and each will be accompanied by Gailani's personal story about the abuse behind it.
"I had to go and uncover a lot of the pain and define why I painted each piece. You can just imagine the years it has taken me to acknowledge that abuse. A lot of people don't have access to such great psychologists, mentors or teachers. They don't have a creative expression like art. So I am trying to show what worked for me," he says.
While in Oman child abuse is rarely talked about, it happens more often than people realise, says HH Sayyida Basma Al Said, mental health counsellor and psychotherapist, and owner of the Whispers of Serenity Clinic. Last year SQU Hospital reported 26 cases of child abuse - physical, sexual and emotional - and that is just the tip of the iceberg, she adds. Abuse happens in all sectors of society, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, and the abusers can be people who are least suspected, such as seemingly kind and normal family members, or even teachers or other people in positions of power.
"It can happen anywhere and in any society and country. When people say there's no child abuse in Oman, it's just ignorance," says Sayyida Basma.
Sayyida Basma says it's essential to talk about child abuse in Oman and raise awareness about it, which might encourage victims of abuse to come forward. Currently many don't because the perpetrators instil fear and shame in them, convincing them they are dirty, guilty and unloved by anyone else.
Gailani and Sayyida Basma say they hope the exhibition will help parents learn about the importance of speaking to their children about abuse and knowing what signs to look for, such as changes in behaviour, weight gain, or isolation. Gailani says as a child he gained a lot a weight because he would seek comfort in food after he'd been abused, and considered his size a shield.
"I want people to understand what child abuse is and how to prevent it. To prevent future things, try to go to a therapist. It's safe and it's confidential. It's better to talk about it than hide it," Sayyida Basma explains.
Despite some warnings and criticisms from acquaintances about bringing up a sensitive subject like child abuse, Gailani is determined to go ahead with the show, especially if it means he can help vulnerable children. Sayyida Basma is firmly supportive of his endeavour.
"We really need awareness. He's doing such a heroic thing. Who is to judge that?" she says.
"I think anyone who comes to my clinic has great courage because they are unveiling so much."