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Lik Likoti opens at Canvas

December 18, 2012


KARACHI, Dec 18: The mystery of the unseen has always fascinated writers and artists. Phrases like ‘the fear of the unknown’ and ‘the undiscovered land’ are commonly used or alluded to by creative individuals in their works, for it is from the invisible that they tend to seek the answers to the questions raised by the naked eye. An exhibition of Imran Channa’s latest artworks titled Lik Likoti opened at the Canvas Art Gallery on Tuesday.

Lik Likoti is a Sindhi phrase for the universal game of ‘hide and seek’ that almost every child in the world plays.

Lik Likoti therefore becomes a symbol of the ostensibly obscure, which may lead to the resolution of issues related to the universe where one follows what one sees. To drive his point home, Imran Channa employs three media, namely oil on canvas, plywood box, video clips and graphite on paper artworks. All of them serve his purpose well, especially the work done in graphite on paper that eggs the viewer on to make an effort in order to look beyond the blurry picture.

The graphite pieces are an eye-teaser, in the sense that while understanding and identifying the images lightly drawn on the surface, the element of ambiguity remains intact, which is perhaps the whole idea.

In his statement, the artist explains that he has chosen the game as a strategic model of finding out ‘the accuracy of the hidden and doubtful historical adventures; one must always be careful to distinguish between genuine and false mysteries’. Here the word ‘adventure’ is important since it implies both serious and light-hearted pursuits, a combination that life frequently throws at human beings not only to indulge but also to ponder over. And sometimes the consequences of which can be graver than one might have anticipated.

The exhibition will remain open till Dec 27.