KARACHI: Marking its first anniversary, Sanat Initiative is celebrating the works of 13 artists who have exhibited their works at the gallery during the past year.
The exhibition, titled 'Milestones', is Sanat's own ensemble of the best emerging talent that it has showcased and introduced in the field of expressive art.
The diversity in the use of themes and mediums is in direct proportion to the number of artists displaying their work. On the face of it, the work is much beyond the conventional landscape and miniature - it is more about the artists' personalised and unique self-expression pertaining to issues that are close to their hearts. For example, one can see artist Ghulam Mohammad's love and concern for the Urdu language in his paper collage work. On the same note, artist Numair Abbasi deals with the loaded topic of what it means to be a male in the our culture, exhibiting nudes through mixed media on canvas.
Taking the idea of self-revelation forward, Zahid Mayo's take on art makes more sense. According to the artist, art is nothing but it is the artist who is the creator of ideas. Mayo, who belongs to a small village of Gujranwala and accidentally learnt about an art school, is of the opinion that art is really all about extracting something from your inner self. His oil on canvas depiction of people looking far off in the same direction sets up a vivid picture of the complexity that goes in his mind while he accommodates others in it, too, to share the feeling.
An interesting aspect of the display is the freshness of concepts from one canvas to the other. Contrary to a solo show, in which a viewer is able to walk through the journey of the artist, the exhibition transfixes you by offering the best from an artist's work. In this regard, artist Mohsin Shafi's reflection on communities and identities perhaps stands out the most. The use of colours in setting the ambience of Pakistan's heritage is awe-inspiring. "For me, making art is no different than living a life every day. Sometimes I even feel that I don't make art; I make commentaries," he said.
Artist Abid Aslam's use of rings as a medium illustrates another example of how art and self-expression are a matter of subjectivity without any limitations. 'Welcome summer' uses rings as eyelets to make figures and silhouettes, leaving one to wonder about the craftsmanship and idea that went in labour to create it. The artist describes working with this medium as comparative to putting dots on paintings. "It is like looking at miniature. Miniature is like putting dots on a paper," he said. As interesting it is, it is in fact beauty that has been enhanced.
The show will run till July 17.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2015.