KARACHI: It’s that time of year when certain art galleries put up the works that they deem fit for the summer/holiday season. The Koel Art Gallery’s annual exhibition Summerscape recently got under way. It has a wide variety of artworks that speak volumes for the kind of diverse talent that there is in the field of art in Pakistan.
This year, the show complements variety with uninhibited subjective force. For example, the very first exhibit ‘Esteemed Mr President’ (aquatint) by Saad Ahmed sets the tone with a sociopolitical comment. The comment is open for interpretation. Yet, interpretation alone will not be a fulfilling experience unless you do not appreciate the craft of the artist. He makes a piece that the viewer will itch to talk about the moment they see it, and in the process overlook the fact who’s made it. Smart, isn’t it?
Amean J’s ‘Walking the fine line between light and shade’ (digital print) takes the focus away from the worldly to the aesthetic. The light and shade difference is contrasted with another interesting binary: brittleness and solidity. Doing this, Amean turns a simple everyday image into something out of the ordinary so that the next time the viewer confronts that image, s/he will assess it differently.
Sarah Mir in her untitled piece (mixed media) creates a picture, albeit fuzzy, that despite its haunting nature gives away the message crystal clear. It’s all about the faces behind the faces that seldom, or never, come to the fore.
‘Measured’ (acrylic on canvas) by R. M. Naeem impresses on multiple levels. It is an exquisitely created work of art, and the exquisiteness takes a back seat once the viewer tries to delve into its content. The pursuit of balance in an imbalanced world can have weird consequences. Weird does not always mean ungainly. Naeem knows it very well.
Sara Suleman conjures an interesting scene with brass through her work ‘Suspended’. It lends a collectivity to the whole exhibition in a way that, perhaps, is the essence of her work.
The show will run till July 9.
Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2016