Through the lens: Islooites get a peek into Lahore’s walled city

Ace photographer reveals subtle stories of everyday life at Nomad exhibition.

ISLAMABAD: An exhibition of photographs by acclaimed photographer Abbrar Cheema opens at the Nomad Art Gallery today.

Titled “The souls of the walled city”, the exhibition is a combination of monochromatic, coloured and infrared images that come in limited editions and showcases a total of 20 photographs.

The collection portrays a labour of love, revealing subtle stories from the Walled City of Lahore; its historic monuments and its people. The photographs are a kind of conversation that take on a life of their own.

The photographs are a kind of conversation that take on a life of their own. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS

A monochromatic shot of a tabla-maker, surrounded by musical instruments, profiles the arduous work that goes behind instruments that classical music enthusiasts devour, remaining oblivious to their history.

A richly-coloured shot of the Wazir Khan Mosque makes for a painterly scene whereas children playing in the streets or men busy at their workplace are visual stories that Cheema has captured in an enlightening way. There is a certain magnetism and movement to the scene of Badhshahi Mosque taken with a fish-eye lens.

After earning his Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the College of Art and Design at Punjab University in Lahore in 1994, Cheema transitioned from painting to multimedia production yet he could not deny the fact that the beauty, colours and the multiple facets of the country inspired him.

As an artist, he used his camera as a tool and captured fleeting moments through his photography and
has also dabbled in other creative skills such as documentary filmmaking, commercial art and computer applications.

“Pakistan is a vast subject that will keep the camera going non-stop as it captures snow-capped mountains, valleys, rivers, history, the variety of culture and angles of rural and urban life,”
said the photographer, who has been living in Lahore since 1985.

Moreover, he added, Lahore is also a vast subject for photographers
and filmmakers and one cannot cover it in his or her lifetime.

The current exhibition will continue for 10 days. 

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2014.


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