Culture and heritage: Art-inspired furniture pieces showcased

Speak volumes of beauty and potential the country holds

The pieces highlight the beauty and heritage of the country in a greyscale. PHOTOS: MUHAMMAD JAVAID/EXPRESS


Art exhibitions in capital usually showcase paintings and mixed media and it is for the first time that a gallery has gone beyond the typical regime and displayed modern furniture pieces of art.

The exhibition titled ‘Dissonance’ by Muzafar Mohiuddin went on display at Satrang Gallery on Thursday.

It is exclusive, not only because the concept was rarely explored earlier, but also because the pieces were exquisite and limited in number. Moreover, the furniture pieces seemed like a true representation of Pakistan. ‘Blood and Sweat of Brick Kiln Labour’ showcases the hard work labourers put in while scenario of Karachi’s harbour is represented in another exquisite addition called ‘A Fisherman in Arabian Sea.’

The artist admitted that Chitral was close to his heart because it takes him back to his native town. Therefore, it was not a surprise that ‘Chitral’s Pride,’ a bookshelf, depicts towering Hindu Kush range. ‘Glory of a Wheat Field’ is another favourite of the artist.

One of the most interesting pieces of the exhibition, ‘Citrus Galore’ – essentially a box metal base with hanging oranges as seen through a vintage camera’s lens – depicts an orange tree.

Some other pieces like Colonial Reminiscence, Time Machine, Waiting to be Discovered and the Agrarian Masses were not only interesting but triggered an interest to know story behind them.

Mohiuddin said that he first came across the concept of monochrome art back in 2013. “I was reading an article on legendary Yves Klein and his monochrome installations in Paris, and I instantly got inspired by it. I could imagine beautiful wheat fields that I was being driven through when I came across the words and statements like ‘all colours arouse ideas.’ It was that when I decided to start working on this exhibition,” he said.

He further added that even though his inspiration was a European artist, he wanted to show a Pakistani influence in his work. “This is the reason I have depicted Pakistan’s magnificent landscapes in my furniture using a monochrome palette of a limited number of shades. I wanted to focus on values of one colour. I chose a grey scale, which to me arouses melancholy and thinking of the heart-rending image of beloved Pakistan that personifies us as a nation. Ironically all these negative connotations exist in the face of a proud cultural past, natural abundance, great craft and hardworking people,” he said.

The pieces may showcase a grey scale but every piece of furniture speaks volumes of the beauty that this country is and the potential that this nation holds.

Satrang Gallery Director Asma Khan said that the gallery was very proud to host such a unique exhibition for the first time. “Muzafar has used the inspiration with his own technique to create stunning furniture pieces that highlight beauty and heritage of Pakistan. Such an exhibition is a very unique opportunity for art connoisseurs to acquire select pieces of art furniture from a limited edition,” she said.

The exhibition is ongoing till April 13.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2016.


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