Up and coming: A new space for Karachi’s artists

Movenpick Art Gallery opens its doors to contemporary, young artists

New artists are welcome to exhibit their work at Movenpick Hotel’s new gallery. PHOTOS: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: On the first floor of the Movenpick Hotel sits the Movenpick Art Gallery, a new space for art enthusiasts to display and view artwork in Karachi.

At its official opening Tuesday afternoon, the gallery was packed with young artists as well as foreign dignitaries such as the consuls-general of Italy and Russia as well as the first secretary of the Omani consulate.

At the inauguration, chief guest and art critic Marjorie Husain said, “This is a wonderful idea and an encouraging thing for the art [community]. I am very excited to see the idea unfold. I believe art is very relevant in today’s world because artists paint what they feel.”

According to curator Shehzar Abro, the new generation of artists is not able to get the opportunity to exhibit as there are fewer opportunities for them. “What is unique to this space is the vision of the gallery that leaves us all impacted,” said Abro.

Salim Khilfan Al Humaidi, the first secretary of the consulate-general of the Sultanate of Oman, said that he liked the art space while Italian consul-general Gianluca Rubagotti said, “It’s a nice thing to support the artist community in town.” He pointed out a painting by Abro, which was of the Italian Fontana de Trevis, and said, “The power or beauty of an architectural piece is such that an artistic soul can be rightfully affected by it, such as the Fontana de Trevis.”

From the group of 17 emerging artists whose work was presented at the Movenpick Art Gallery, artist Alina Khawaja depicted in her work how being bullied in her childhood affected her current life. Sara Paganwalla portrayed confused identities. Safwan Islam captured the beauty of the northern region of Pakistan via his camera lens and Radia Durrani drew flowers in vases.

Mirza Mansoor Ahmed, the general manager of Movenpick Hotel, welcomed the guests. “The young ones must be creative and do something artistic,” he said. “Abro engaged these young artists in about two to four weeks and we plan to give these artists a helping hand and a platform to exhibit their work. People must come forward and regularly utilise this art space.”

Russian consul-general Oleg Avdeev said that these are very promising artists who have a great future ahead of them.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2016.


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