Borders and Beyond: Artists exhibit artwork after residency

Published: March 5, 2017


LAHORE: An exhibition titled Borders and Beyond, featuring the works of seven artists from different countries, is on display at Ejaz Art Gallery.

The show included the works of Gea Karhof and Nan Mulder from the Netherlands, Li Yanbo from China and Sarah Hopkins from the United Kingdom as well as RM Naeem, Muhammad Atif Khan and Zaira Ahmed Zaka from Pakistan.

Curators Zaira Ahmed Zaka and Muhammad Atif Khan said the objective of the exhibition was to facilitate cross-cultural exchanges. They added this had been the vision of the Zaira Zaka Studio Residencies since it was established in 2013. The curators said the current exhibition focuses on printmakers developing a better understanding and helping artists show their work to new audiences.

Zaira told The Express Tribune that participating artists had strong connections with each other and shared their works through travelling exhibitions and working together at residency programmes. “They worked together in a friendly and mutually-supportive environment, exchanged ideas and built connections between different countries,” she added.

Zaira and Atif said that such cross-cultural exhibitions built bridges between countries through collaborative work, exchanging ideas and sharing of artistic practices and techniques.

These travelling exhibitions promote the art and culture of Pakistan internationally while developing relationships with artists and galleries across the world.

Chinese artist Li Yanbo said she created her artworks by using mezzo tint printmaking techniques.

Li explained her work as dynamic, yet with an element of silent stillness.

According to Li, her subjects are seemingly full of life and vigour, but placed against dark empty backgrounds which strongly hint at annihilation. She added the spotlight thrown upon the still lives gives a royal or holy aspect to the subjects used in her work.

According to Zaira, Li’s subjects possess within themselves anthropomorphic qualities, which perfectly represent the absent human form.

Gea Karhof’s attended the GerritRietveld Academy in Amsterdam after which she developed a highly personal technique of etching.

Gea travels regularly to various countries, where she continues to find the inspiration for her work.

She said, in her creative process, a place is reserved for the heroes of the comic strips of her youth, where the present and past meet in a fairy-tale like world. She added that her etchings were printed in the limited editions and then coloured by hand.

Sarah Hopkins, a printmaker living in Swansea, works with an emphasis on the urban environment and her work focuses on industrial heritage and the topography of the Welsh coastline.

“Urban landscape and heavy industry are commonly perceived as unsightly and ugly. My objective as a practicing artist is to challenge the ways in which these landscapes are perceived,” Sarah said.

The exhibition will continue till March 7th.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2017.

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