Bali Bagus opens at Koel
KARACHI, April 11: Some art lovers harbour the notion that ceramists try to explore the various aspects of the sense of a touch, or tactile sense, through artistic pursuits. It is not right. They only experience it to the extent that an ordinary individual does. What distinguishes them from the rest of us is the fact that by indulging themselves in ceramic art, like all other artists, they try and resolve the myriad of issues pertaining to existence. For them the message lies in the medium.
Nabahat Lotia is a seasoned artist. An exhibition of her recent ceramics titled Bali Bagus opened at the Koel Art Gallery on Thursday. As the name of the show suggests, these are exhibits that the artist did while she was in the beautiful island of Bali. Bagus in the Indonesian language means good and is also a type of clay. However, her subjects cannot be pigeonholed like that.
Naturally the artist has played with shapes, and shapes are never meaningless. The circular form gives the viewer a sense of wholeness whereas the cubes represent earth and a certain kind of divergent consciousness. The stoneware pieces on display are marked by intriguing forms and different sizes. As for the colours that the artist has employed, they give away a foreignness of the not-so-distant kind.
The standout exhibit, however, is a set of two figures (oxide brushed red clay) which is different in quite a few ways from the rest of the lot. The two figures have a common tale to tell and it is for each viewer to find out what connects the two. The hint that the artist has given is the positioning of their heads. The broader figure is either looking at or looking towards the other figure and is perhaps drawing a blank.
The exhibition will continue till April 21.