Clogged urban streets, open yellow fields and colourful neon buses were all part of the “Ecology of colour – the song of summer” art exhibition that kicked off at the Nomad Gallery on Saturday.
The event featured Sarfaraz Musawir, Nadeem Ahmed, Hamid Alavi, AQ Arif, Ahmad Habib, and Amjad Hussain who are all seasoned artists. They have used their expertise to bring the Pakistani way of life to the canvas, said a visitor.
The artists have focused on the narrow streets of old cities bustling with vendors amid architecture that dates back to the British Raj.
Musawir uses light tones of yellow and blue to depict the everyday life of people living in these areas — the use of colours give the look of a late evening setting, with Musawir calling his work memories of the places he has visited in Lahore and Karachi.
The signature move in his seven pieces seems to be the slight translucent reflection of the scene on to the road below. The other artists—Alavi, Habib and AQ—have also taken the urban sites into their stride, however, each depicts their subject in an altogether different light. Alavi uses free brushstrokes and brighter colours while Habib uses tones of grey and a tinge of green. Habib has made interesting use of the canvas as he uses mixed mediums and mixed techniques to create cluttered homes together with electrical poles. His work focuses on Rawalpindi, and he was quick to note his disappointment at the condition of his aging subjects. “It’s sad that the original architecture is losing its essence and is disappearing,” explains Habib.
Meanwhile, Ahmed’s work strays away from architecture and concentrates on the country’s famed truck art. Aiming to show the relationship between the truck driver and the truck, the artist uses neon colours with silhouettes of the truck driver, but with abstract techniques which in turn give it a psychedelic look. Chakwal-based artist Hussain went away from urban life and chose to paint vast yellow mustard fields and running streams instead.
The exhibition of the six artists continues till the June 22.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2012.
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