Exhibition: Simple messages through complex methods

Contemporary issues put across as allegories.

Saleha Rauf May 05, 2011


A total of 26 art pieces by five fine arts and visual arts graduates convey various simple messages in a complex and symbolic manner.

Paper I, displayed at Rohtas Arts Gallery, consists of works by Asad Hayee, Ghulam Hussain, Hassan Mujtaba, Sheraz Faisal and Unum Babar.

Using vasli, hand made paper, as the medium, the artists have allegorically put across issues such as terrorism, masculinity and femininity, aggression and population growth.

Hussain, who contributed six artworks, has used the weaving technique. He said he learned weaving a couple of years ago, which has been his major interest since then. He has woven actual test papers that he said belong to his nephew. “I wove my nephew’s school test papers in vasli to show students’ aggression when they fail to make it in their exams or get a zero,” he said.  One of his works is inspired by mat weaving.

Hayee displayed three miniature paintings titled Portrait-XII, Portrait-XIII and Portrait-XIV. The artist has used butter paper, gold leaf, cloth and graphite on paper. He has used a man’s tie to represent masculinity and a rose to represent femininity. Hayee said unlike in traditional miniatures where a shaded circle was painted behind the head of kings to show their nobility, in his miniatures both genders were noble. “Both the genders are shown noble in my work. There is no difference between them,” he said.

Mujtaba, a Beaconhouse National University visual arts graduate, has displayed three paintings and four origami works at the exhibition.

He has used graphite, acrylic and wood on textbook paper in his work titled English Urdu Bol Chal.

The artist has drawn grids using primary school workbooks to show how people now interpret text.

“Some years ago we used to read text horizontally. My work concentrates on how people have started now reading text vertically due to vertical text in menus and mobile phone texts,” Mujtaba said.

Four paintings by Sheraz Faisal, a National College of Arts graduate, have also been displayed.

The artist has used paper cutouts and shaped them into bullets, flowers and leafs. The bullets have been camouflaged in the background.

Faisal said, “I researched terrorism and suicide bombing during my visits to 35 countries. I studied what people watch on television and what they interpret. Through my work, I have tried to convey how what we see affects us.”

Baber, also a BNU graduate, has displayed four art pieces.

She has used wire, latex, pen and gauche on paper. She said her work was inspired by Karachi. “Architecture has always been my inspiration. It affects the lives of people. Areas in and around Karachi are very congested, with exposed pipes and wiring everywhere. This is what I have tried to show in my work too.”

The exhibition will continue till May 10.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2011.


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