ISLAMABAD: A group show titledThe Script of Gestureshowcasing works by five painters who haveused several techniquesand mediums,was inaugurated at Satrang Gallery.

The guest of honour at the event was Danish Ambassador Lis Rosenholm and works created by Aisha Abid Hussain, Faizan Riedinger, Ghulam Mohammad, Sabah Husain and Mohammad Ali Talpur have been put on display.

Asma Rashid Khan, founder and director of the gallery, highlighted the long association the gallery has had with some of the artists, saying, “these five acclaimed artists have exhibited internationally and have made the country proud.”

She said: “We first showcased the works of Ghulam Mohammad in 2014 when he had just graduated. He went on to win the prestigious Jameel Prize of the Victoria and Albert Museum and to date, he is the only Pakistani to have won this international award.”

“We have also exhibited the works of Aisha Abid Hussain who won the Haji Sharif award in miniature painting and those of senior artist Sabah Husain who has exhibited extensively in Japan and the UK. Mohammad Ali Talpur has also shown with us in 2014 and his work is now in the public collections of the British Museum and the Queensland Museum. Faizan Riedinger, a multi-talented artist, has done residencies and shows in Japan,” she added.

Ambassador Rosenholm said: “Art makes stronger connections between countries, between nations and between societies and I think that is key for a better world – a world with more peace, with more prosperity. For that to happen we need more exchange of ideas, different ways of thinking, much more understanding of each other, much more compassion and empathy. Art is a very important means towards that end.”

She added, “As we become more creative, we broaden our minds and we have better understanding of other people. I think art is so important for that and that is why I am so happy to attend this evening. Walking around I see all this beautiful art and I have heard all these interesting stories, because for me it is always about the people behind the art – who are they, what are they trying to achieve and what are the ideas they would like to start thinking about. I am honoured to be here and also to have the opportunity to support the vibrant Pakistan art community.”

Aisha Abid Hussain’s work has an archival quality; she uses mixed media to develop a narrative that is woven out of images, documents, scripts, photographs and text. Faizan Riedinger attempts to capture and encapsulate movement, rhythm and vibrations inspired from abstraction within nature, texture, organic structures and the presence of fluidity within scripts.

Ghulam Mohammad used language and script as a medium of expression of both his own identity and cultural, historical and contemporary context. His works are intricate collages of paper cuttings of Urdu text and other local scripts pasted on wasli-paper, sometimes embellished with gold and silver leaf and Iranian ink. Mohammad Ali Talpur has taken the essential elements of calligraphy and redefined its components to create a new language.

Sabah Husain was present at the event to share her work with visitors. She is the founder and current director of Lahore Arts Foundation Trust (LAFT) and from 2000 to date and a member of the adjunct faculty at the Department of Fine Arts at National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore. While she said that her works spoke for themselves, she uses trees and plants as symbols that transcend cultures and time.

The collection was curated by Zahra Khan.

Anusheh Rehman, an educationist, said, “I enjoy attending such exhibitions as I get new ideas to try with my students. I particularly like the work drawing on calligraphy.”

Salma Basri said: “One of the biggest problems in Pakistan is that we do not give enough importance to artists. It is so important to teach people art and make art accessible to common people.”

Zille Huma said: “I’m not an artist but I try to attend as many exhibitions as I can because I find them inspiring. In the pandemic I have been learning different techniques from social media but I get the ideas and concepts from such shows.”

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021

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