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RAWALPINDI: An art exhibition titled Short Stories opened on Saturday, showcasing the work of 12 recent graduates from the National College of Arts’ (NCA) Lahore and Rawalpindi campuses.

The exhibition at Gallery 12.0 on Jhelum Road features the work of Amal Nadeem, Asghar Ali, Iqra Arif, Maiha Fauzan, Mubashar Iqbal, Mohammad Jawad, Muza Mahmood, Numaira Javaid, Rahat Ali, Talha Khan, Waseem Akram and Zoha Zafar.

The artists explored various themes, highlighting social, political and geographical issues, and employed a number of techniques including miniature painting, printmaking and sculpture to express their own stories and personal journeys through contemporary art.

Amal Nadeem, a printmaker who graduated from NCA Lahore, said that his work deals with human behaviour, revealing the tangled, intimate, sometimes beautiful and sometimes grotesque act of grappling with what we can know and what we cannot.

Quetta-born miniaturist Asghar Ali said he paints portraits that highlight the innocence and the element of fear on the faces of people from his Hazara community.

Another miniature artist from the Rawalpindi campus, Maiha Fauzan uses hair as a medium to explore obsessive-compulsive behaviour. He explained: “Hair itself isn’t just a material for me, it holds a very high value, as it contributes to my sanity as much as it contributes to my work.”

Iqra Arif, who graduated from Lahore, connected her work to spirituality and said she tries to share her journey towards divinity through her art.

Portraying sensibilities towards complicated ideologies, Mubashir Iqbal uses vocabulary of manipulated objects that comment on both society and individuals. His vision is to challenge existing beliefs by lifting the curtain of ignorance as he translates them into visuals.

The work of Mohammad Jawad, a miniature artist and NCA Lahore graduate, is about questioning the meanings and perceptions derived from reading texts and their impact on our society.

Muzna Mahmood, another miniature artist from the Lahore campus, said she was intrigued by the idea of our multi-layered surroundings, be it human behaviour, intention, personalities or objects.

Rawalpindi-based a Numaira Javaid uses her art to talk about life and how memories are revived and relived by seemingly small and insignificant gestures and objects.

Inspired by nature and natural material, Rahat Ali’s work is a commentary on beliefs, faith and feelings. Mr Ali, a Lahore-based artist, connects his pieces with poetry and literature.

Talha Khan’s work focuses on the process of purpose lost which is demonstrated through various objects under study. The different genres under which he studied objects for purpose lost are mainly the interplay of different mediums, treatments, chiaroscuro and process.

Waseem Akram’s work revolves around the contradiction of seeing and perceiving. He plays with the perception of the viewers by writing text that contrasts with his paintings.

Lahore-based Zoha Zafar’s paintings are strongly connected to her past, and she paints mundane objects in vibrant and bold colours for the spectators to relive a cheerful past.

The exhibition will run until April 30 from 11am to 6pm.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2019