Established artists and art enthusiasts gathered to appreciate the printmaking, miniature paintings, installations, and digital images exhibited at the Alhamra Arts Gallery. The exhibition will continue till June 22.
The exhibition showcased the artwork of seven graduates of the National College of Arts (NCA) in Rawalpindi: Benazir Hayat, Syeda Hera Shakoor, Malghalara Kaleem, Raquif Ali Rana, Schezre Syed, Shanze Zohreh, and Xahra Hafeez Khawaja.
The exhibition was inaugurated by artist Ajaz Anwar. Other artists in attendance included Salima Hashmi, Saeed Akhtar, RM Naeem, Nazish Ataullah, and Quddus Mirza.
For artist Quddus Mirza this exhibition is different in terms of ideas, techniques, and imagery.
“The works address multiple issues which signify how our new generation and artists are eager and capable to explore new boundaries,” Mirza said.
One of the participating artists whose pieces were particularly innovative, Shanze Zohreh, said that her work is about impairing the function of a mundane object, letting it stay the same as it is, repeating its experience and giving it a new purpose. There it transforms a simple thing into being special.
Zohreh, speaking to The Express Tribune, said, “In my artwork, a bulb is the mundane object which becomes dysfunctional as the filaments have been removed. Its form is the same as the bulb should be and there a simple thing became special, becomes obvious, becomes a character.”
Explaining the motivation behind her work Benazir Hayat said, “I used to look myself in the mirror and wonder – who is that? So I started taking pictures of myself and found that I could different faces of myself that I had never seen before. My work is more like storytelling. It’s a series of different situations that occur in daily life.”
Explaining her work, Xahra Hafeez Sheikh said, “My work depicts that when your goals become unattainable, those goals and desires eventually become a burden… This is what this story is about. It is a journey towards a lighter being and a mockery of my dreams.”
Schezre Syed, describing her printmaking work said, “I have tried to record the speed of life in my series of visual journals. It is about the clutter of information around us whether it is visual or intangible.”
“But my work doesn’t end there,” she added. “The non representational nature of images gives the viewer the power to form his own experience and opinion of the work,” said Syed.
Syeda Hera Shakoor described her paintings as well. “My work is about a few characters inspired by myself,” he said. “These characters are unaware of themselves.
They exhibit the non-identity of an individual in the absence of space and time context. I disregard vanity as I paint my mirror image bald image.”
The artists attending the exhibit were impressed with the art they saw. Anwar said, “I have seen these students work at NCA Rawalpindi. I am familiar with their work, but after they have graduated their work has become more mature. They have developed a style of their own.”
Artist RM Naeem said, “It is good work. They have the potential to step into the arena of art and make names for themselves. Saeed Akhtar advised the young artists to exhibit their new artwork in as many exhibitions as they could if they wanted to pursue art as a profession.
“It is always exciting when a new group emerges on the Pakistani art scene… It shows that people are pursuing visual arts as a profession, which is extremely encouraging,” said Salima Hashmi.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.