Visual narratives: Beyond the monotony of life

Published: November 3, 2016
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According to curator Wardah Naeem Bukhari, the title of the show very aptly depicts the times we live in. Photos: Courtesy Full Circle Gallery

According to curator Wardah Naeem Bukhari, the title of the show very aptly depicts the times we live in. Photos: Courtesy Full Circle Gallery

KARACHI: Ranging from a disfigured map of Pakistan on a dressing table mirror to multiple drawings and paintings, as many as 10 artists displayed their work at a group show, titled ‘The Monotony of Life’, at the Full Circle Gallery.

The show, curated by Wardah Naeem Bukhari and featuring the works of Aneela Khursheed, Asad Ali Abid, Farrukh Adnan, Hassan Arshad, No-Man, Rabia Shahnawaz, Rizwan Ali, Sajjad Nawaz and Shahzad Tanveer Sufi, opened on Friday evening.

Explaining each art piece in elaborate details, Bukhari said that the truism was very accurate for the times we lived in. She shared that this was the first time she curated an exhibition in Karachi. “While using different mediums and varied formats, artists have tried to convey a message, which I think is true to the title,” she said.

Among the works was Khursheed’s depiction of a jigsaw puzzle made with pieces of mirrors. The distortion within and outside created a strong effect. Abid toyed with metal wires – the twists and weaves created a visual narrative of its own. No-man, another artist, visualised distortion taking place in the form of a Pakistani map that he drew, depicting the chronological map of the country on a dressing table mirror and disfiguring it, with other colours vis-à-vis the war against terrorism.

Shahnawaz’s work was brought forward in retention of a gloomy abstract image, which was purely evocative while Ali drew two separate images of a Mughal king, titled ‘Mein’, and a royal courtesan, titled ‘Koi Bhi’. While painting the miniature paintings, Ali explored pointillism in his work and points towards the Mughal mindset of ridiculing the female sex, who was given less importance in a male-dominated society.

Meanwhile, Adnan drew images while exploring his hometown of Tulamba in Punjab, illustrating a war between sense of self against sense of space.

Bukhari, in her own artistic drawings, placed into perspective how, in recent years in Pakistan, negativity and the gloom of terrorism have taken over. She highlights issues from political strife over a single chair to religion, which has been ambushed in the foray, depicting all of this as a troubling story.

The show continues till November 18.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 4th, 2016.

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