KARACHI: There could be many motivations for a painter, sculptor or a photographer to capture an image. First and foremost is the aesthetic pull of a particular scene. Then the scene’s social connotations or even metaphysical subtexts may also prove to be interpretation-worthy. All of these have limitless possibilities for the imagination to go wild. This is what has made six artists present their artworks at an exhibition titled Boundaries… Boundless that began at the Koel Art Gallery on Tuesday.
The half a dozen artists who are participating in the show — Amean J, Irfan Naqi, Madiha Aijaz, Mehreen Khalid, Momin Zafar and Umar Riaz — are known in the artist community for their sharp eye for the hidden. The hidden needs to be expanded upon here: as a viewer we are struck by a certain image; we look at it with either a sense of amazement or regret that stems from the fact that something in that image has been left unsaid or unravelled. Artists who feel this way try and unearth the veiled behind the obvious. This is exactly what the artworks on view in the exhibition intend to do.
Without individually analysing the artists’ works, a look at the variety of subjects being put forward for perusal would suffice. First of all, there’s the sea and its vastness merging with the horizon. Franco-Czech novelist Milan Kundera writes in one of his novels, “To agree is to merge.” This is the kind of sea-horizon merger that the artists are propagating in the show.
There are also pictures of the common folk, either whiling away their time or slugging it out to survive. But what’s being concentrated upon in the framed pieces is the anonymity that’s associated with the common man which enables him to be ignorant of the cut-throat world of the marketplace and (at the same time) allows the artists to examine the joys of a segment of society where social mobility doesn’t play a big role.
What makes all of that a fruitful journey to be on is the aesthetic grace with which the six creative individuals arrest all these scenes. Good stuff.
The show, curated by Tehmina Ahmed, concludes on Nov 1.
Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2018
Download the new Dawn mobile app here: