* Even in today’s world, many cities of Pakistan do not have a single art gallery
By Ahtesham Azhar
KARACHI: The VM Art Gallery annual event hosting artworks by fresh graduates from throughout the country titled ’11th Emerging Talent’ commenced on Tuesday.
One of the biggest art events of the year, it has been going on since 2003, when the gallery director Riffat Alvi came up with the idea.
Emerging Talent is an annual practice, which the administration holds to provide a platform to the emerging artists of Pakistan.
The gallery highlights local talent with works of photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and others, which may even inspire the viewer to search for their own hidden talents. This time, as many as 141 art pieces are on display in a variety of mediums, from different parts of the country – Karachi, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Hyederabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Islamabad, Rawalpindi other cities.
The focus is mostly on artists, who have never exhibited their work on any platform.
On the first day marking the beginning of the month long show, several participants were also present.
One of the art piece titled ‘Naïve Art’ by Saira Mallah, made with permanent marker and oil on canvas was the first to catch people’s attention, as it was on display near the entrance of the gallery.
The artwork portrays the faces of people, in different coloured dresses, basically describing diversity of people, their emotions and expressions. The artists focused on colours and facial features of people from all age groups. She is a fresh graduate of Central Institute of Art and Craft Karachi.
Another artist Hureen Khan of Karachi School of Art (KSA) presented the age-old game ‘Pacman’ in oil on canvas. Art piece was mainly a five-rupee coin shaped like pacman eating one and two rupee coins. Perhaps showing how big coins eat smaller ones alluding to rising inflation, or how every powerful person tries to command someone poor.
‘Self Analysis’ by Meerab Savio of Fatima Jinnah University for Women Islamabad (FJUW) was made with oil on canvas, which was about a lady, who is looking at herself in the mirror. The artist also painted vertical lines on the paintings, symbolising analyses.
Another untitled painting by Rawalpindi based artist Syeda Hera Shakoor, a graduate of NCA, is of a person with a chick standing on his shaved head. The face is expressionless except the eyes focused upwards. Both look uncomfortable in the painting. The painting asks the viewer to title it and give a subjective name. The work of Pareesha Khan, a graduate of North City School of Art, is on human nature. She painted a heart attached with people’s limbs, super embossed with handprints, titled ‘The Endless End’.
Talking to Daily Times, she said that she was presenting her work at an exhibition for the first time. “I love symbolic paintings. My theme focuses on human nature, and how we are bound to listen to our hearts without even thinking of the consequences. However, when we are in trouble, we start blaming are luck,” she explained about her work.
Appreciating VM Gallery for showcasing words by fresh graduates, she said that other galleries should also hold these kinds of exhibitions.
“This exhibition has provided us an opportunity to come up with our talent on a professional platform,” Pareesha said.
Another artist from KSA, Shazia Khatoon presented ‘Strength’, a sculpture of a horse made with bolts and screws. Ultimately, the medium and the structure, both define the theme of the art piece, highlighting the power and strength in unity.
Baakh Peerzada, a fresh graduate of Karachi University, presented ‘Memory Collage’, made with baby socks, threads and canvas. It is a timeline of how things change, especially as we grow from being a baby to adults. Talking about the exhibition, she said it gave her a lot of confidence and she is encouraged to hold an exhibition in future.
Another Nasrpur based artist Muneeb Khanzada said that this was his second ever participation and first after graduation from Centre of Excellence Art and Design Hyderabad (CEAD).
“Participating in such a mega show is an achievement for me,” he said, adding that he lives in the city, where art cannot even think about opportunity. He was of the view that ‘Emerging Talent’ not only gave him an opportunity, but also confidence of presenting work publicly.
Shazia Langah of Dolutpur, Qadeel Fatima, Saira Banoo, Rameez Khokhar, Shoaib Ahmed and Shabana Langah of Hyderabad commented that they discovered art is progressing in the mega city only. They said it is disappointing that even in today’s world, many cities of Pakistan do not have a single art gallery, and they had to come to Karachi to present their talent.
The exhibition will continue until July 18.