It’s all about Mughal miniature art

Published: October 29, 2017


LAHORE: Artworks of five artists trained in Mughal miniature painting techniques are on display at Ejaz Art Gallery. About 25 paintings will remain on display till November 2.

Mariam Hanif, who is exhibition’s curator, says the show titled Zoetic exhibits works by artists Mahnoor Hussain, Farhan Ali, Maria Ramzan, Hussain Jamil and Zeeshan Hameed draw dichotomy between elements from Mughal court painting with iconic images of 21st century media culture.

“This comparison of old with new creates a strong dialogue to our own perception, evolution as an individual and nation and encompasses artworks with subtle yet sarcastic explication on various socio and political issues,” explains Hanif.

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Speaking about the concept that drives his art practice, one of the artists Farhan Ali, said that it’s a human psyche that when you experience something relentlessly, it becomes normal to you. “The role of media has direct impact on our society in spreading western culture that’s why we have forgotten our cultural values, customs, traditions, which are so colourful, rich and glorious.”

Ali says his art practice, therefore, is a study on an individual life and how it is effected by their environment and surroundings.

Artist Mahnoor Hussain says her work is an attempt to break down the concept of perfection in a subtle way and make viewers rediscover and redefine their comfort zones.

According to Hussain her artworks are a commentary on how fleeting the emotion is that by displacing just one tiny aspect of reality our view of the image is changed.

Another Artist, Maria Ramzan says her work is a sarcastic approach towards the lust and war for throne in present time. “All those cartoon characters which are perceived as the object of entertainment throughout the history are being used as a metaphor to depict the actual faces of authoritative body.”

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Ramzan says given the current socio-political scenario she paints these cartoon characters in embellished borders and Royal scenarios.

Artist Zeeshan Ahmed says his work is a commentary on socio-cultural fabric on multiple levels, producing a narrative on various elements and their appropriation in the given context. “My series of work describes a personal perspective and feelings of discomfort about many taboos in society, which we know and accept, but, loathe to discuss. I have observed, studied and experienced these factors throughout my life.”

Using everyday objects in his paintings and juxtaposing them in an abstract-realist manner, Ahmed has tried to blur the contextual connotations of these objects to describe prevalent social conditions.

Explaining his artistic process, artist Jamil Hussain says his early artworks questioned the old expressionless miniature figures where the latest works questions the image of Mughal courts and all the powerful emperors.

According to Hussain, static, erect and expressionless figures of traditional miniature always seemed unrealistic to him.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2017.

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