Karachi Art Summit begins
KARACHI: It is thoughtful on the part of the organisers of the Karachi Art Summit to choose the sprawling Burnes Garden, which is now a contiguous part of the National Museum of Pakistan, as the venue to kick-start their event from. The park has a long history, some of which can be learned from its 100-year-old trees (eucalyptus, neem etc). The summit began on Tuesday evening with the lovely, swaying trees in the background.
It is, probably, because of the garden’s historicity that the site-specific and interactive installations that the 14 participating creative individuals have put up point at the artists’ concern for issues that plague our society. Though the installations do not have a linear thought process behind them, it is not difficult to get a grip on the artists’ train of thought. They choose varied mediums such as plastic containers, polythene bags and fibreglass etc to put their message across, but at the heart of it all is the idea to look at society from different angles with a view to either getting rid of certain shortcomings or improving the situations that help us survive as human beings.
Let’s talk about an untitled exhibit by Idrees Hanif first in which concrete and plastic tubs have been used. Here, the medium is the message. The artist is creating a contrast that is regularly seen in our daily lives, and yet never understood as contrasting images, allowing utility to take precedence over the sense of perception.
Jamil Baloch calls his fibreglass piece ‘Silent’. Silence, however, is created by virtue of size, indicating the importance of physicality in life. The size of the objects that he has created can distract the viewer from the artist’s standpoint. This is exactly what he wants. Ultimately, by noticing the dimensions of the artwork it will dawn on the viewer that they don’t matter. What matters is the dimensions within.
Mujtaba Asif talks about ‘Insaan’ (human) and does it by, again, evoking the concept of utilitarianism. It is only by understanding (the gravity of) this concept that the viewer can understand the significance of the insaan.
Other artists who have taken part in the show are: Abdul Jabbar Gul, Patrick Lichty, Amin Gulgee, Obaid-ur-Rehman, Hamza Rana, Sehrish Willayat, Yasir Hussain, Hasan Raza, Abdullah Qamer, Raheela Abro and Talal Faisal.
The summit will continue till April 5 at different venues.