LAHORE: An art and photography exhibition titled ‘In the Land of the Lost River’ by Akhtar Mummunka and Sapna Khan went on display at Nairang Art Gallery on Saturday. The father-daughter duo took inspiration from the Cholistan desert and River Sarasvati for more than 30 of their pieces.
According to Akhtar, his paintings in medium oil on canvas are testament to the passion he has for his land. He said through his work he wanted to bring forward the beauty of the desert.
“I want to make a statement that we’re a peaceful country, and terrorism does not define us, and this work of art will display just that,” he said.
According to Sapna, her digital photographs are inspired from the legend of River Sarasvati which went dry and subsequently erased a civilisation alongside it.
“Legend has it that the lord of wind and water saw Princess Phulam Rani, bathing in the river, fell in love with her and wanted to take her with him back to the Himalayas. Infuriated by her refusal, he ordered wind and water to destroy Fort Murrot and everything around it,” Sapna explained.
“With my father, I followed the trail of the desert nomads who are always in search of their lost river, that stopped flowing centuries ago but they are still hoping that their yearnings can get it back to life,” she said. According to the photographer, the only trace of this bygone civilisation that now exists is on the faces of its people and she wished to capture that in her portraits.
Sapna’s work style is influenced by literature and the cinema, focusing on narratives and storytelling. She is currently based in Lahore and obtained her postgraduate diploma in photography from Speos photographic institute in Paris and has displayed her work in Sepos Gallery, France and the Brick Lane Gallery, UK.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2016.