Blended talent: Varying shades of art and cultures

Published: July 4, 2013
Some of the artworks on display. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Some of the artworks on display. PHOTO: EXPRESS


A group of eight artists will be showcasing their latest work at Gallery6 in a show titled “Medley of Tenors” on Thursday (today) that will be inaugurated by the Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Szabo.

The show, which will go on till July 15, includes the works of Arjumand Faisel, Samina Arjumand and Shahida Mansoor from Islamabad; Abid Khan, Rabia Dawood and S.M. Mansoor from Lahore and Ashkals and Riaz Rafi from Karachi. The 53 displayed items include clay pottery, prints, miniatures, calligraphy, landscapes, abstracts, expressionistic figurative work and satirical paintings.

Faisel is exhibiting seven paintings reflecting political satire and are based on topics that remained under discussion during the regime of the previous government.

According to the artist, his inspiration came during parties from the pre-dinner “drawing room” discussions in which the guests participated with great enthusiasm. He gave these topics a visual vocabulary in his sketch book. Among these, “Mirror on the wall, who is the richest amongst us all”, “Reconciliation 2008-2013” and “IMF Zindabad” stand out for their originality.

Arjumand has experimented with clay without using the wheel and makes figurative sculptures, reliefs and vases. Her work emphasises on the warmth of hands in real life situations — a mother’s caress for her child or a beloved’s tender touch. She holds a diploma in ceramics from Alliance Francais in Alexandria, Egypt.

Some of the artworks on display. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Mansoor has a PhD in Fine Arts from Tokyo and has specialised in Japanese wood block printmaking. She is currently Associate Head, Department of Architecture and Design in COMSATS Islamabad. She has discovered many similarities between Muslim miniature art and Japanese woodblock print, including the fact that both these traditions were based on feeling than on logic. She is displaying six prints in the exhibition.

“My interest in my own traditions was strengthened while working with the Japanese medium of water-based colour woodblock Prints. However, I am not a traditionalist in my own expression,” she said while talking about her work.

Khan finds solace in nature. His intricate landscapes, where even the darkest shadows are composed of imperceptible gradations of colour and light, are a delight to look at.

Dawood has focused on human emotions and individual growth as consequences faced through different stages of life. “My work is expressionistic where I am speaking out and interacting with the viewer and hoping to involve them in the depth of my emotions,” she said.

Professor Mansoor is the grandson and former apprentice of Muhammad Sharif, founder of the Mughal Miniature Arts Department at Mayo School of Arts, now the National College of Arts, Lahore. His miniature works are experimental, bold and modern in mix media, and usually cover a wide range of cultural diversity and varying moods.

Commenting on his work, Mansoor said “I cannot separate what I see happening around me from my work”.

Ashkals is a painter, photographer and filmmaker who has learnt the art of restoring paintings from Europe and is displaying three abstract paintings.

Rafi studied calligraphy from Gulgee and Sadequain and has painted outstanding calligraphies in bright red, orange, yellow and blue.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2013.

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