As many as 93 artworks, of graduates from five art schools, make up The Young Artists’ exhibition at the Nairang Gallery.
The exhibit that will run until September 30 opened on Thursday.
It features the work of 32 students from the Beaconhouse National University, the National College of Arts, the Punjab University, Kinnaird College for Women and the Lahore College for Women University.
This year’s exhibit includes seven miniature paintings – whose theme is Child Labour – by Anum Nadeem, a Kinnaird graduate. In one, boys wearing shalwar kameez pat stray dogs. They look happy and carefree but also featured on the canvas are two columns of bricks.
In another painting, the canvas is covered with bricks with doors in between.
The image of a boy is repeated six times on the small painting. Nadeem says she met the boy at a brick kiln in Shadman.
She has used bricks and doors as a “metaphor for working children who appear to be strong but can be easily hurt or broken”.
She says her inspiration came when Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif started distributing laptops among students across Punjab.
“For me, child labour is a far more pressing issue than access to education. I wanted to paint the strength and resilience of children who are earning to feed their families,” she said Nadeem.
Another Kinnaird graduate Nazia Qamer used a medley of softwares to create images of women. One of her most appreciated works is a portfolio of an acid attack survivor.
She has used ink and pen on a digital print of a photograph of the woman, which she took at the Smile Again Foundation, an NGO that helps acid attack survivors.
Momina Rehman, another miniature artist, has 12 artworks on display. For her theme, Broken and Repaired, she has juxtaposed prostitution and a truck art palette to reflect a broken spirit and jubilation respectively. She has already sold three pieces.
Urooj Jehan, a 2004 NCA graduate, has three paintings on display, titled Optimism.
One features a woman, whose back is exposed, who sits on her knees facing a tree. Jehan describes the painting as a portrayal of the struggle women have to go through in Pakistan. “I have attempted to strike a balance between grief, happiness and a future for women.” She said.
Saim Ghazi, the gallery curator, said 10 paintings had been sold since Thursday, when the exhibition started.
Ghazi said the artworks by Kinnaird graduates had received a lot of appreciation, unlike in the past when NCA students’ work had garnered all the attention.
The works are priced between Rs15,000 and Rs 35,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.