Deemak Exhibition of Three Artists Works at KSA gallery

No artist can remain detached from the negative socio-cultural trends that nibble at society’s soul. Whether they express their concern through their art is another debate altogether. While the last dozen (or so) years have been particularly turbulent for Pakistani society, the country’s artists have come up with their own interpretation of the malaise. An exhibition of three artists’ works titled Deemak, which is under way at the Karachi School of Art gallery, is a cogent example of the observation.

The three artists — Falak Noor, Tabassum Naz and Huma Ali Shah — are KSA graduates. Their artworks are connected to the title of the show, though all of them have their distinct styles. When it comes to construing the problem, the artists seem to have consensus on one aspect: society’s ailments are as much a result of inner flaws as of external factors.

Noor touches on the primal instincts of man with titles such as ‘Adam and Generation of Adam’, ‘Two Brothers’, ‘Cannibalism’ and ‘Suicide’. She uses ink on acrylic to convey her message. What’s interesting is her use of the colour red that she employs discreetly, signifying the impulsive side of human nature.

Naz plays with the viewer through her mixed media and gouache work. She blurs newspaper clippings by showing the text back to front, adds an object or two to it and creates a puzzling picture. The viewer has to look hard to understand what a headline reads in an exhibit titled ‘1947’. It reads ‘Pakistanis do not learn from history’. Similarly, the placement of a dugdugi (an hourglass-shaped drum) in a piece called ‘Democracy’ is an inventive idea.

Shah opts for the more traditional style of work, using oil and acrylic on canvas. Her symbolism borders on abstraction in an impressive way. ‘Dry Bones’ is one of her noteworthy artworks.

The exhibition will continue till Oct 31.

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