KARACHI: In the last few decades, arguably, the fearless manner in which fine art has flourished and progressed in Pakistan no other form of expression has — not even poetry or fiction. One knows that it’s a tall claim. The fact of the matter is anyone who has been to art displays in the 21st century, especially in Karachi, they would realise that the courage that the artists have shown in picking their subjects — from bigotry to politicians’ venality to spiritual quests — is astounding.
There is new-found confidence in the art community, which allows them to be intrepid, playful or experimental whenever they feel like it — sometimes all three at the same time. A recent example is a group show interestingly titled Fresh Mint that can be seen at the Full Circle Gallery.
To get the hang of the exhibition, and understand the crux of the minty name, its curator Irfan Gul Dahri’s following statement might help: “The ways of creative expression are infinite. By the time a visual settles in a viewer’s mind, it includes the references of its ancient origin, the vibrancy of various cultures, the critique of thinkers, the pain of its maker, and a moment of the viewer’s own life.
“Such combinations can never be exactly the same, yet the ‘new’ may just be a variation of something that existed before. And that is precisely the beauty of it all… Fresh Mint is the new harvest of such ideas by 18 exceptional emerging artists,” it said.
Works of 18 emerging artists on display
One can infer that the reference here is to the phrase, ‘a breath of fresh air’. These artists are indeed exceptional not only in terms of the content that they have chosen to focus on but their versatility of technique is no less impressive. Yes, they are emerging, so along the way in their creative journeys they are going to learn a lot more.
The artists taking part in the exhibition are: Abbas Ali, Alizeh Ijaz, Ameema Saleem, Amerzish Khalid, Arfa Shan, Fizza Aslam, Hadiqa Asad, Hafsa Jamshed, Hamza Bin Faisal, Hifza Khan, Javaid Joya, Khadija Tariq, Maria Aamir, Nabiha Gillani, Ramsha Haider, Riaz Ali, Rizwan Channa and Sajjad Roy.
The exhibition will conclude on July 28.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2022