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ISLAMABAD: A solo art exhibition, titled ‘The Beautiful Land’ centred on the lives of the people of Tharparkar opened on Saturday.

The exhibition features 20 paintings in acrylic on canvas by painter and teacher Hussain Chandio.

It was inaugurated at the Nomad Gallery by Brazilian Ambassador Claudio Lins.

Mr Chandio’s work portrays the life and hardships of the people of Tharparkar in various series.

The ‘Dance’ series portrays women in movement, while the ‘Malang’ series depicts people dancing in ecstacy to symbolise the diverse and spiritual life of Sindh.

The unending journey of women in the ‘Journey’ and ‘Thirst’ series, meanwhile, comment on the challenges facing Thari women as well as their resilience.

“Chandio is a talented artist who is inspired by diverse and vibrant colours of Pakistan and its people,” Ambassador Lins said at the exhibition’s opening.

He said the angle from which Mr Chandio had portrayed figures and their movement and the vibrant colours were very striking and add a rare abstract element to his work.

“His characters are full of life and feeling; the depiction of a rural ambiance, women and malangs dancing, working or playing games gives a complete picture of the rural life of Sindh to those who have not visited the area,” he added.

Only he has the secret for choosing the right moment and the surprising aerial angle, the ambassador said, adding that Mr Chandio’s work showed the local and universal realities of life.

“The artist has shown the colourful life of Pakistan, happiness and optimism,” commented Michel Galopan, the general manager of Serena Hotel and an art enthusiast and frequent visitor to Nomad.

Anna Ivanicvich, wife of the Argentine ambassador, said the aerial view and colours used by the artist were amazing.

Her praise was echoed by miniature artist Najmul Hassan Kazmi.

Curator and gallery director Nageen Hyat said Mr Chandio portrays rural women, daily life and people in movement from unusual

angles, which draws viewers deeper into his vision much more than if the experience were static and one-dimensional.

The artist said that among his inspirations were Warren Keating, the American artist whose work is also based on aerial views, as well as the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

“The matchless beauty of the human face is what Faiz once proclaimed to be uncontrollable. My basic inspiration comes from Faiz’s poetry. He makes the faces important with his words. I humbly try to create faces, hoping they would become immortal through my efforts,” he said.

Mr Chandio told Dawn he is working on a Tharparkar series to depict social issues such as the lack of electricity, education, health and road infrastructure in the desert district of Sindh.

“There is beauty in everything around us. The only thing is how we see them. Sometimes, the beauty of life stops us in our tracks and arrests us,” he said, adding that in his humble way he was trying to capture this beauty on canvas.

“I paint ordinary people of Sindh where I have seen great beauty. I see their beauty and rich colours in everyday life. I have painted them in all moods and activities,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2018