A long way from conventional art
Karachi: We seem to have come a long way from art as we once knew it: images and landscapes of Francisco Goya, John Constable, Leonardo da Vinci… something that was such a soothing expression of things and situations for the eye.
Modern art, with all its ‘isms’, is more of a brain-teaser than a feast for the eye. Yet, it’s there and we have to come to terms with it and rack our brains to pick out its finer points, which we surely find after donning our thinking caps.
There’s of course another dimension to art resulting from the mind-boggling advances in technology: digital art, an art form where the computer is the main source of generating and all designs are simulated by it; it is an art form that is fast catching on.
However, computer-generated artworks need not be weird: they can be moulded to any form the artist may desire; it all depends on how weird – or otherwise – the artist’s imagination is.
An exhibition featuring this kind of art, titled ‘Hybrid’, is currently running in town at ArtChowk-the Gallery. It is a joint venture of Muhammad Atif Khan from Lahore and Damon Kowarsky from Australia.
It features digital prints, one of which is ‘Landscape of the Heart’, featuring flying horses with the heads of damsels and multicoloured wings; it is a digital print on Hahnemühle archival paper. Another digital print is a flock of multicoloured birds soaring in the lofty skies.
Besides, there are 20 etchings, joint works by the two collaborating artists and some by Kowarsky. One of these is ‘Kite’: a double-fuselage, high-wing aeroplane held aloft by a kite string.
Both artists have to be given credit for their imagination. In fact, both of them seem to have an inclination for expressing their themes through flying objects and birds. The opening piece of the exhibition is an etching of a drone raining hellfire and predator missiles.
For those nostalgically inclined and belonging to Lahore, there’s an etching of Nila Gumbad: a blue-domed, Mughal-era structure at the entrance to Lahore’s indelible landmark, Anarkali Bazaar.
A project supported by the Australian High Commission, Kowarsky’s and Khan’s works were also exhibited at Lahore’s Rohtas Art Gallery and at the residence of Australian High Commissioner Peter Hayward.
Their exhibition at ArtChowk-the Gallery will remain open for all art enthusiasts until November 15.