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Other selves under way at IVS gallery

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: Why is there so much spontaneity to the art of drawing? There could be multiple answers to the question, one of which is, or could be, that it largely draws its strengths from lines that do not fade away or hide behind the lush strokes of colours. Drawing is the art of conveying the complicated with relative ease.

An exhibition of seasoned artist Moeen Faruqi’s drawing documents titled Other Selves commenced at the Indus Valley School Gallery on Thursday evening. It is nice to see the artist revisiting something that he’s done in the last few years and signifies the very basics of fine art.

Anyone who has been to a Faruqi exhibition before would know that characters are the core of his artworks. Of course, they are human characters — both identifiable and in certain cases a little difficult to recognise. Mind you, the exhibits on display have been acquired from the studio and the artist’s sketchbooks, so there can be a literal, in a manner of speaking, interpretation of his work as well. But then, good art always carries multiplicity of meanings.

The viewer cannot miss out on the symbolism that Faruqi sips into the scene that he creates in his drawings. One such symbol is that of the fish. It has often been said that the fish symbolises fertility and wisdom. This time round, Faruqi appears to be toying with another idea: the concept of fidelity, of being loyal to something or someone.

This does not necessarily refer to being faithful to a person. Rather, fidelity to a work, a situation (good or obnoxious) that one has created. It isn’t that hard to understand. The dour faces in his artworks speak of the following familiar aspect of our collective lives: the moment when we suddenly stop and mull over a certain facet of existence, in terms of impact, heavily outweighs the moment that we wish never to go away.

According to a gallery official, a few of the drawings on view have been made by the artist’s son and a friend.