KARACHI: Society defines the parameters within which one may function. It restricts, confines and dictates you as well as your behaviour.
These ideas seem to be the focus of Lahore-based miniature artist Ejaz Saeed's work, titled 'Fusing Myself', on display at the Artscene Galleries in Clifton. The artist has used circles, stones and wings to give a language to his ideas.
The imagery has been inspired by Mughal miniature styles and is a social commentary on how society restricts people to function in certain ways. A topic that is very close to the heart of many artists and, in fact, all those who are into creative lines, the exhibition shed light on the universal struggle of people who want to sing their own tune.
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"My work is about the behaviour of society," said Saeed while speaking to The Express Tribune. "It's about how people judge and what they expect from you. It's the same as the way people judge a book by its cover."
His paintings revolve around circles, stones and wings and the consistent presence of a man: a man's head is surrounded by stones set up in a neatly designed arrangement or the back of the head of a man is made out of these stones.
In short, these stones act as symbols of restrictions and confinement.
In addition, there is the presence of circles in the backdrops, surrounding the man from all sides and acting as his base. Often characteristic of continuity and completeness, the circle in Saeed's work seems to be indicative of a person's capacity.
"I took circles and stones from Mughal miniature," explained the artist. According to him, circles seem to hint about the unique quality of each person as to what he wants to do, which is a matter of importance to that individual alone while family and society become restricting factors.
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With limitations and exclusivity as themes, it is perhaps impossible not to have a contrasting concept of personal freedom.
The elaborate, feathery wings in multitudes of colours give the exact message of freedom.
The wings are expressive, loud and expansive, and undoubtedly signify the need for personal freedom that allows you to be what you are for real.
The show will end today (Wednesday).
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2016.