Paintings by five youths went on display at a group exhibition titled Modern Life here at The Drawing Room art gallery on Wednesday.
Julius John, one of the participants, said he had tried to avoid nostalgia in his work unlike “many others who focus a bit too much on evoking an obvious sentimental response from the bystander.” This, he said, left the “image emotionally inert leaving the bystander to draw their own conclusions.”
John said his work is “usually architectural and infrastructural” but this time around it was different. “It’s different…it takes into account the human organism which inhabits that architecture,” he said.
“I have portrayed continuous shoots of the street outside the window in my room,” John added.
Saeeda Nawaz, another participant, told The Express Tribune that she has tried to show “transparency” in her work.
“I have tried to depict the gaps in relationships, the ambiguities… the ideal lifestyle of ourselves,” she said.
Nawaz said the moody landscapes in her work depicted nostalgic feelings.
Madiha Sikander, whose work also went on display, said her work was an “amplified version of portraiture depicting how individuals relate to their environment – sometimes self-created – in the grand scheme of things.”
Artist Ali Asad Naqvi’s said his pieces depicted the evolution of calligraphy “by giving it masculine elements and forcefully transforming it into the modern age.”
“It is up to the viewer how he or she interprets my work…whether clouded by ulterior motives, obscured by desire or blocked by fear and anxierty,” said Sara Khan, another participant.
Critic Quddus Mirza said the work displayed had diversity in terms of subjects and standards.
“One can see how issues of urbanisation and alienation have been dealt with…how the tradition of miniature and the convention of abstract have been approached in the context of our situation and surroundings,” he said.
Sanam Taseer, the curator of the gallery, said she was fascinated with the way the images displayed had been captured and how they “evolved within our memories.”
She said, “These young artists have created works that are wonderfully obsessive depictions of ideas connected to collective experience.”
The exhibition will go on till Eid.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.