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ISLAMABAD: An exhibition titled The Real and its Double, featuring 34 works of art by 30 art students from both campuses of the National College of Arts (NCA) opened at the French embassy on Wednesday to mark the French National Day.

The exhibition was inaugurated by French Ambassador Dr Marc Barety, who said the concept of the exhibition had come from French philosopher Clement Rosset, who showed that everyone sees double and it is much easier to complicate one’s life than to see what is in front of oneself.

“By accepting the real you generate your own wisdom. Mankind has always tended to discover something real and in this exhibition we must pay tribute to the artists who have portrayed the relationship between the real and the double,” he said.

The exhibition was curated by Fatima Hussain and Imran Ahmad. The participating artists were asked to respond to Rosset’s take on reality and humanity’s ability to sidestep or bypass it.

The exhibiting artists include Aimen Manzoor, Aliza Shah, Ali Hamza, Arslan Awais, Ayman Qamar, Eman Fatima, Farkhanda Ashraf, Faryal Yazdanie, Feroza Hakeem, Hafsa Faryal, Hassan Furqan Faiq, Hina Asghar, Iftikhar Khan, Kainat Altaf, Khushbakht Islam, Laraib Ahmad, Mubashar Iqbal, Mohammad Mohsin Attiq, Mohammad Asad Mir, Muneeb Faraz, Nafia Batool, Nisaa Saeed Raja, Numaira Javaid Butt, Sawera Jahan, Syeda Sara Haider, Waseem Akram Solangi, Wajiha Batool, Yaseen Khan, Zahra Ishaq and Zainab Najeeb.

The jury consisted of Islamabad-based artists Sundas Matloob, Hurmatul Ain and Sana Arjuman who selected one winner from NCA Rawalpindi and one from NCA Lahore. Performance artist Faryal Yazdanie won from Rawalpindi while Yaseen Khan won from Lahore for his oil on canvas triptych.

“We create our own reality as we go,” said Faryal Yazdanie while explaining her performance.

“We build our own standards of what is real and what isn’t. The performance is a two-part narrative, where first the physical contact takes place with the surface and the latter part of the narrative is writing down every thought that is stimulated by the sensory experience.”

Yaseen Khan said: “This work revolves around the ordinary that are mostly neglected and ignored – the way we move around the world and don’t focus on the detail of its beauty that surrounds us. I captured the way time is ticking and is constantly in a loop. The visual is based on the shadow that moves around us from dawn to dusk.”

Rawalindi students Muneeb Faraz, Wajiha Batool and Aimen Manzoor received special mention, along with Lahore students Hafsa Faryal, Farkhanda Ashraf and Hina Asghar.

“I think this was a great way to have young art students respond to theme-based work. All 30 artists are second and third year students who were given a few weeks to produce work of the theme The Real and its Double. They were given the chance to work professionally while we were given the opportunity to see experimental work from young people who are in the middle of their training,” jury member Hurmatul Ain said.

Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2018

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