Art exhibition: Miniature paintings depict contemporary issues

Published: March 3, 2011
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The works of artists Shoaib Mehmood and Habiba Zaman speak volumes about their out-of-the-box creativity. PHOTO: FILE

The works of artists Shoaib Mehmood and Habiba Zaman speak volumes about their out-of-the-box creativity. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Habiba Zaman and Shoaib Mehmood touch upon different aspects of Pakistani culture in their latest show of miniature art.

Mehmood ventures into the debate on loss of culture and identity, while Zaman’s work focuses on issues related to pregnancy and maternity. The exhibition opened to the public at Khaas Art Gallery in Islamabad on Tuesday.

“In our society, majority of women are put under social and family pressures to have a son,” said Zaman. “What I have tried to show in my work is a woman’s emotional self when she is under this pressure, despite having no control over it.”

Using gouache on wasli, the artist has used vibrant colours in her work. However, her work takes a bizarre take on the subject matter as she uses underwear to show emotions. The use of different colours depicts the tussle between these emotions.

About his collection, Mehmood said, “My work navigates between cultural history and trends.

The hegemony of western imports and the subservient mindset of Asian cultures refer to the idea of neo-colonialism, wherein the influence of the west still persists strongly.”

Using men clad in Nike wear to depict the emergence of western culture, the artist shows the tussle the traditions of the sub-continent have faced in the post-colonial era.

His work is an attempt to document contemporary social issues of Pakisan’s culture, which is in radical development and change.

His collection, though interesting, is something that has been overdone. The artist’s skill is profound and mature, however, the depiction of the subject matter, like the portrayal of Emperor Shah Jehan in a brick wall, is something we have seen time and again.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2011.

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