Karachi School of Art's graduates display their work at 44th annual exhibition -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Karachi School of Art’s graduates display their work at 44th annual exhibition

By: Ammar Shahbazi

Karachi: The Karachi School of Art’s (KSA) 44th annual graduate thesis exhibition, held here on Friday, could be interpreted as an ominous warning for the conventional forms of fine art that have been preserved for centuries.

Today’s fine art graduates seem particularly eager to explore new mediums and to look ‘different’. In fact, if any phrase could aptly define contemporary Pakistani artists – even those fresh out of college – it would be “thinking out of the box”.

“The urge to shun traditional forms and mediums was evident in a number of works, with most students using installation art and other mixed-media,” Executive Director KSA Imran Zuberi said.

“Traditionally, the KSA is known as an orthodox institution which equips students with the necessary skills to work as professional fine artists, in the historic sense of the word; but no more.”

Graduate student Hania Farooq work analysed the concept of human identity. Her subject was finger-prints.

“I was piqued by the presence of finger-prints on the human body, as every fingerprint is unique,” she said.

Farooq used plaster, acrylic on hardboard, and fabric in her work. “I used mixed media because the ideas in my mind were too complex to be presented in conventional mediums,” she said. Sahar Masood, another graduate, used her thesis to explore the modern-day obsession with technology that has, in her opinion, “crippled mankind in many ways”.

“When I was born, I didn’t know what Facebook was; but now when I’m logged on, my world comes to a halt,” she explained. Masood’s thesis analyses the dilemma of modern existence.

She, too, used a number of mediums for her thesis, ranging from the more traditional oil-on-canvas to the more alternative: a sculpted human ear placed on a laptop.

“When I am online, the whole world closes down for me and the laptop is all I can hear; this piece is symbolic representation of this idea.”

Another graduating student, Faria Muhammed, used sculptures to express the range of human expressions and emotions that are otherwise hidden to the external world. In one of the sculptures, Fariha includes a collage of self-portraits. “My work is a confession.

The portrait is nothing but my admission that as a human I have various shades of expressions that I conceal from the world.”

“In the lasts few years, we have increasingly found themes that deal with the socio-economic condition of the county in students’ work,” said Imran Zuberi.

He believes the allusion to serious issues shows that the country’s youth are actively contemplating the the society they live in. This year, 9 students graduated in Fine Arts, 11 in Textiles, 15 in Communication Designs and 8 in digital media.

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