Past, present and art

Published September 19, 2018
THREE of the exhibits on display at the exhibition.—White Star
THREE of the exhibits on display at the exhibition.—White Star

KARACHI: The Renaissance artists had a strong affinity with the supernatural. Their depiction of heaven and earth had a romantic dimension. The artists that came after them in the succeeding centuries found it terribly hard not to be influenced by the painters and sculptors of that era. One way or the other, they reinterpreted, and are still interpreting, the art of the days gone by in light of contemporariness.

Young artist Raza Bukhari, an exhibition of whose latest body of work titled Flying With Stones can be seen at the Full Circle Gallery, also intends to juxtapose what has ‘passed’ with what is ‘passing by’. However, much of this can be observed in the technique and the media that he has made full use of.

THREE of the exhibits on display at the exhibition.—White Star
THREE of the exhibits on display at the exhibition.—White Star

Bukhari does not want the viewer to think more about his technique, though. He wants the viewer to know that he is interested in the relationship between art and life. In his statement he categorically says that to him pictures are a replacement for words, that is, what cannot be expressed verbally can be done through images. Now this claim becomes all the more intriguing when Bukhari lays emphasis on the ‘outer limits of human behaviour’. Here’s a sense of the supernatural without losing sight of the real world.

As a result, the viewer sees two worlds coming together: one, which belongs to the past with strong concepts of heaven and earth; two, the contemporary world, which, by the way, is largely expressed through the media that Bukhari has chosen to give vent to his feelings with. It includes archival print, gouache on wasli and carpet. Yes, carpet is something that Bukhari has been fascinated with since his childhood. What comes out in the form of exhibits on display is strikingly engaging and visually opulent artworks.

The exhibition concludes on Sept 24.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2018

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