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When conversations get truncated

November 22, 2012

KARACHI: No artist can miss out on the wonders of nature. It is just not humanly possible. Nature, in the larger context, depicts a benevolent picture. However, it is within the sphere of the natural world that artists go through a gamut of experiences, some of which (if not most) are not necessarily palatable. This is evident from an exhibition of artist Nizakat Ali Depar’s latest works titled ‘Truncated Conversation’ that opened at the Canvas Art Gallery on Tuesday.

Nizakat Ali Depar experiments with form and media. This serves the artist’s purpose because the kind of investigations that he conducts through his art requires multiple approaches to the subject. There is a lot hidden in the title of the exhibition.

The word ‘truncated’ is not generally associated with the textual form; it is more of a visual thing. And conversation is something which can be heard. To truncate a conversation would mean to cut down on a picture with little or no attention to the text. Once the viewer understands this, viewing the artist’s exhibits becomes all the more worthwhile.

The first exhibit is titled ‘Far Sight’ (gouache on wasli). Apart from the human figure, a tree and a parrot cannot be missed in the artwork. Nature is on display here, as is the conversation between all the relevant characters. The viewer will be able to connect the dots when s/he reaches the last exhibit ‘Truncated Conversation’ (gouache on wasli). The partial images of the characters, as if they have been cut from a bigger picture, say it all. While the collective images of nature’s elements have their own appeal, the artist appears more effective with his interpretation of thorny paths. In that regard ‘Thorn Map’ (gouache on wasli) and ‘Thorn’ are standout pieces. He has used the thorns as the metaphor for the intricate network (you can call it a web if you like) of feelings, issues and challenges that life oftentimes becomes. Of course, the artist has done so in the context of his own existence and the surroundings he grew up in.

The exhibition will continue until Nov 29.