A World Of Dreams -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

A world of dreams

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: Very few works-in-progress pieces of art give more cerebral pleasure than watching a mural being created. It primarily has to do with the size of the artwork, because the process of creating art, and not its finished product, is an intriguing thing to know about or be a part of.

Young artist S. M. Raza’s attempt at making murals based on ‘found images’ of street children at the Canvas Art Gallery is pretty special to look at. He has been diligently working on six exhibits, four of which are murals, one sketch and one acrylic painting.

The name of the show is Lucid Dreams and the murals will be open to the public to see on Tuesday. The dreams that Raza is alluding to are about the plight of that disadvantaged segment of society whose condition is often discussed in copious reports produced in the media by different organisations but concrete steps are seldom taken to put them out of their misery. Raza does not want to highlight this, mind you. What he is doing is that he is presenting to the viewer chunks of their lives — those chunks which have become integral to their being — as a subject of art. If the viewer feels moved by it, Raza will be happy.

There is a mural in which a child is seen with a piece of fruit. Now the acquisition of fruit is something that is hard to come by in the lives of those that the artist has made his topic. So he is putting two contrasting elements side by side — affluence and deprivation. How so? Among other things, fruit is also a symbol of affluence. This is simple but effective, because the size of the artwork drives the point home with effortless ease.

While discussing the content of the exhibition, it would be a mistake to overlook Raza’s tremendous skills as a painter. His lines are strong which is why the contours of his paintings are clear as day, enabling the viewer to both interpret and enjoy his works at the same time. A fine example of it is the exhibit in which a character is seen fast asleep, oblivious to the rest of the world. Perhaps this is where the lucidity of the dreams comes in. The viewer knows what he’s dreaming about. Reason: even a fleeting look at the oversized shoe that the character is wearing in his sleep gives away both his predicament and longings.