Representing languages, recreating the past, expressing fears
Karachi: Not to be left behind in the race for art exhibitions that seem to have gripped the city, the Spaces Art Gallery in Clifton has also put up a compact show.
Comprising 15 works in colour and black-and-white, covering all art forms from the most modern to the most classical, it is a show highly varied in the nature of the works.
The opening work is an exposition of the human tongue, 30 different views, by a young artist Shazia Langah.
These views are supposed to be representative of different languages. Each view represents a language.
While to some the views may sound squeamish, all the same, it is a realistic representation of different languages. One only has to use his imagination.
Shazia, a graduate of the Centre of Excellence in Art & Design, Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro, is a professional artist and has participated in art shows at the Arts Council and the VM Art Gallery in Karachi.
Another artist who’d make quite an impact on the visitors is Muneeb Khanzada. His paintings are sort of diffused; clear but hazy.
The idea behind this innovation is that it is supposed to be a representation of memories. Hence, the hazy look.
One of his works, titled ‘The Slope’, shows a boy sliding down the railing of a staircase. It is just the memory of the artist, the way he did when he was a young boy.
It is hazy or diffused because it is just a memory of the years gone by. Somehow, the artist has produced a profound effect and the piece really looks like a recreation of the past.
Similarly, another work by him, ‘Pumping’, shows a teenaged boy inflating a bicycle tyre with a pump. Again, it is diffused because it is a memory of the past.
It is supposed to be representative of that point in time when the artist, as a young boy, used to cycle over to school.
There are also two other, very impressive works by Huma Tassawar: both woodcuts. One of these, titled ‘Paranoid Dreams’, shows an array of faces with growling, fearsome expressions within a circle, the expressions being connotative of fears and apprehensions.
Similarly, her other piece, titled ‘They are watching me’, is again a case of paranoia and represented by growling, fearsome faces.
A stark comparison comes with three paintings of the Lahore Fort by Farooq Ali. Although a Karachiite, he studied at the National College of Arts, Lahore, and Lahore seems to have made an impact on him.
Unlike the other paintings which involve the element of symbolism to various degrees, Ali’s works are plain realism and show the cupolas and ramparts of the fort in clear detail.
The viewer does not have to resort to mental acrobatics or brain-teasing to arrive at the theme of the work.
The viewer, of course, may have his own views about his colouring techniques for the structures which, in deep blue, are set against a bright orange background, a clashing combination indeed.
The artworks will continue to be on display at the gallery until September 28.