KARACHI: Coding Labels sounds like a book title. Well, in this case it isn’t. It is the title under which the current body of work by Abid Aslam is these days on display at the Canvas Art Gallery. The artist is working as a lecturer at Hunerkada, college of visual and performing arts in Lahore.
Abid Aslam is enamored with the urban landscape of Lahore. This means that it is history, both recent and of the days of yore, that he wishes to explore. But there is a difference: Pakistani cities in the 21st century have metamorphosed into amorphously growing pieces of land. Along with it has arrived the age of intractable technological advancement a la the cyber world. And this is where the artist seems to have accepted the challenge. He himself claims that he is influenced by the ‘neo-impressionist movement and computer graphic pixilation’, and through his ring-on-wasli artworks tries to connect the dots between the two.
‘My Starry Night’ is Aslam’s tribute to a famous artist’s work as well as his take on the part of the world that he belongs to and cherishes. With ‘Food Street’ he shows what magic colours, in whichever form they are used, can conjure.
The profusion of colours is a little different because of the ring-on-wasli technique. However, that’s what makes the artwork all the more interesting.
‘Statue of Liberty’ is an exhibit that comes across as a semi-political statement. Perhaps it is. But to this writer’s mind, it is marked by aesthetic richness.
The exhibition, curated by Muhammad Zeeshan, will continue until Sept 19.