Displays The Works of Six Stellar Internationally-Acclaimed Artists
Showcasing numinous portrayal of spiritual ‘sufi’ thought and poetry and the mystical aura of this land, the group exhibition titled ‘Grains of Sand’ opening at Serena’s Satrang Gallery displays the works of six stellar internationally-acclaimed artists including Ali Asad Naqvi, Amna Ilyas, Mohammad Ali Talpur, Noor Ali Chagani, Quratulain Shams and Sana Arjumand.
Ambassador of Turkey Babur Girgin and Mrs Asli Girgin inaugurated the exhibition and appreciated the unique creative expression depicted in the works of artists. Babur Girgin said that art is the cultural essence of a nation reflecting unifying spirit and the vibrant ensemble displayed at the exhibition portrays the aesthetic understanding and expression of Pakistani artists.
Mrs Girgin has been a director at the prestigious Sakip Sabanci Museum in Istanbul.
Introducing the exhibition and the group of artists, Asma Khan, the director of Satrang Gallery, said that the group exhibition of acclaimed Pakistani artists has beautifully captured the true colours and essence of our country’s culture in vibrant spirit of creativity.
Artist Ali Asad Naqvi works in several mediums and employs both traditional craft-making skills as well as contemporary techniques. His work looks to explore new ways of employing traditional methods in the contemporary art-making practice. Naqvi holds a BFA in Printmaking from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. He also holds a Diploma in Traditional Calligraphy & Turkish Illumination from the same institute. Ali’s creative philosophy is predisposed toward the technical side of art-making, and it has influenced his work to a great degree. His aesthetic approach makes use of traditional arts and crafts in the contemporary setting and seeks to amalgamate traditional materials and skills with modern technologies like photography and computing, and in the process to find original expression.
Amna Ilyas have been working with glass previously and her starting point was the excitement about the three-dimensionality of transparency, more precisely the sheet of glass as a medium for her creative statement. Amna says that her work tends to be tactile and immediate as she respond to her immediate surroundings with each material used having its own formal properties, which are just as important to the artist as its contemporary, historical, and environmental resonances. Amna’s work is beyond the three-dimensionality of the transparency, where a fourth dimension appears, which is exactly what she manages to bring out and constructs brief stories of human misery and joy through the process and through the people closer to her life experience. It is the mental dimension, personality, a way of surviving, illusion, dreams — things that are inaccessible but which determine them greatly, Amna says. Amna Ilyas graduated in 2003 from the National College of Arts, Lahore and since then have been working as a sculptor or painter in her studio. As an artist Amna attempts to provoke in her subjects and characters the need to talk, to reflect.
Muhammad Ali Talpur’s works are part of important contemporary art collections globally, has numerous local and international shows to his credit. Mohammad Ali Talpur is a well-known contemporary Pakistani artist. He is considered as the only minimalist artist in Pakistan because of his linear drawings. He is teaching at National College of Arts and works at his studio in Lahore. About his creative philosophy and work mode, Talpur says, “I start a painting with a single line and then keep on adding to it, as the lines increase they naturally curve and take on their own direction, on the way making errors, but moving on.” Talpur contains his experiences in the complexity of the line, touching upon the starting point as darker and the end much lighter, exploring beyond the boundaries of time, distance and living.
Noor Ali Chagani studies the natural instinct of occupying and isolating one’s estate or land building walls around it. He focuses on the interaction of society with these dead walls on roadsides as people start using it as canvas for social or political expressions in a form he terms as Calligraffiti. Exploring the ancient technique of clay brick making using kilns, Chagani makes his own bricks in miniature size that act as units for his art objects. Just as in miniature painting, the small brush strokes are used to render and build the image – Chagani constructs his own walls with miniature bricks and paints them in similar fashion to the walls built around the private and disputed properties. Trained at the miniature painting department of the National College of Arts in Lahore, Chagani is the first cutting edge contemporary miniature artist using the rules of miniature paintings in 3D.
Quratulain Shams is a trained miniature painter and his work revolves around the theme of fragility and sensitivity. A graduate of NCA in 2009, her work often focuses on her own feelings of vulnerability and frailty. Speaking about the distinctive feature about her work, Quratulain says, “I am always interested to paint moments. Other than that colours have always attracted me.” Quratulain explores the colourful culture and traditions of miniature paintings and to give her work a new dimension, she has made an effort to create a unique and diverse ambiance in her paintings.
Sana Arjumand is a young, versatile and passionate visual artist who has gained worldwide recognition and captured a large audience in recent years. Conceptually she is a post-modern artist who has created pieces employing the traditional skill of painting alongside contemporary techniques. Her impressive artistic vocabulary expresses a sophisticated grasp on the subtleties of life, bringing a new insight to the mundane. She infuses a rich blend of cultural symbolism alongside patterns and images that recur very often in the times we live in. Sana has worked in several mediums such as photography, installations, sculptures, and digital prints. She has touched upon politically and religiously sensitive issues with a sense of wit. Sana says, “Through wit I can speak comfortably about the most sensitive issues.” Sana graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 2005 with a major in painting. Her interest in folk and spiritual imagery has brought her to contemplate upon the connection of these symbols in our modern life.