KARACHI: Fomma Trust takes viewers on a ride to an undiscovered colourful world, where history and fiction merge to produce a new reality, in its latest exhibition, ‘He said. She said’.
The two-person show displays the works of artists Sophia Balagamwala and Safwan Subzwari at Fomma DHA Art Centre in Zamzama Park.
“My works explore the space where history meets fiction and nonsense. I am interested in how stories are constructed, in particular, the myths of national heroes and national histories” writes Balagamwala in her statement.
The artist introduces viewers to her fictional characters, including Lieutenant Laddu, Sergeant Sooraj and company, who are depicted as caricatures with exaggerated features. While some have pointed noses, others have long beards and moustaches. The characters are relatable to some global political figures.
“The humour of the caricature in addition to acting as a metaphor and carrying a history of political critique can be deeply complex,” she explains in her statement.
Speaking about fiction, she remarked the stories play an important role in building national identities. “History should not be one-sided,” she said.
When asked about her inspiration, she said “I have always been drawn to these illustrations. From fictional political characters to children books, the colour palette offers a visual angle [to the works].”
Balagamwala completed her masters in Fine Arts from Cornell University. She is a visual artist and works as a curator at the Citizens Archive of Pakistan as well.
On the other hand, Subzwari’s works are a visual commentary on the culture of our society.
Today is the last day of the exhibition.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2016.