Rotate by Imran Soomro. - Photo by White Star
Rotate by Imran Soomro. - Photo by White Star

KARACHI: It is remarkable how artists from relatively small cities make a huge impact on the world of art. Take Jamshoro for example. The city’s Centre of Excellence in Art and Design is doing a fine job, proof of which can be seen at an exhibition of artworks of the institute’s recent graduates titled ‘Inside Jamshoro’ which commenced at the Indus Valley School Gallery on Monday.

All the artists impress with their creativity and craft. The first half a dozen exhibits are by Madiha Bhatti (gouache on vasli).

The artist has inventively used objects from everyday life, especially stationary items, and put them together to make them look like something physically big and totally unrelated to individual items (pencil, ruler, etc). Good stuff.

This writer does not make predictions, but there is a strong likelihood that Imran Soomro is the next big thing in Pakistani art.

It is his inspired concepts which immediately strike the viewer. In addition, the technique he uses is simple and there is nothing flashy or experimental about it.

His piece ‘Search’ (oil on canvas) is a prime example of how simplicity sometimes can do wonders that an overly abstruse painting splashed with a variety of colours can’t do.

Search by Imran Soomro. - Photo by White Star

An arrow (cursor used in computers) and a greyish background, that’s it. And yet, the viewer can’t take his eyes off it.

Imran Soomro also goes for the oft-taken road, Mona Lisa, and showing the distortion that one usually sees on a monitor turns the classic artwork into a hodgepodge of contemporary kind. The piece is called ‘Rotate’.

Marvi Shoro’s depiction of enlarged ludo with a teacup right in the centre of the playing board is a delightful work of pastels on canvas. The artist has sharp observational skills and decent technique.

Marvi Shoro's untitled exhibit. - Photo by White Star

Hidayatullah Mirani makes an impression with watercolor-on-vasli exhibits; particularly an image of two persons on a charpoy against the backdrop of a blackboard shaped like a slate is an interesting one.

Zakia Shar’s hair-on-vasli, Fareeha Khan’s mixed media and Kanwal Panhwar’s gouache-on-vasli pieces also have their merits. The exhibition will be open until November 10. —Peerzada Salman

One of Madiha Bhatti's gouache on Vasli exhibits. - Photo by White Star

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