Dreamy Landscapes at Tanzara Gallery

Dreamy, beautiful landscapes, half imagined and half real, the mirage like architectural works of a Karachi based artist A.Q. Arif put on display at Tanzara Gallery Friday.

The choice of structures usually limit to famous buildings from the Mughal Empire, shrines of famous aulia or even newer structures that show inspiration from the Mughal time period.

“I have chosen architecture as my point of interest and I have shown the complexities as well as its simplicity side by side to compliment each other. I usually choose minimum colors and work in their tones, so that the attention of the viewer does not divert from my objective. I choose to use earthy tones and the various shades of the night sky because to me they depict our soil. So, whether it stretch from red fort in Agra to the glorious landscape in Jehlum to our very heart of the Mughul Empire in Shahi Qila Lahore there are no boundaries,” said A Q Arif on the occasion.

He said that seeing his work the viewer undergoes a very serene and harmonious sense, due to its blissful equilibrium where time just stands still and one gets a moment to inhale the view and its tranquility.

He also said that he believes that he paints the glories of nature and magnificence of God. “I believe that there is nothing unnatural on this earth.

Through my work, I need people to understand a simple fact that we all need to appreciate the beauty and harmony given to us by God. Beauty is not only in vibrant colors and pretty things like flowers, peacocks and angelic creatures; it lies in the hands of man and his heart.”

Noshi Qadir, the owner of the gallery, explained that these skillfully portrayed structures loosely link his present mood to earlier work, when his main source of inspiration were the remnants of a bygone era.

The artist was captivated by the remains of old structures found in the city, now neglected and unnoticed by the busy passer by.

Arif employs a mixed media technique, consisting of oils and acrylic paint on canvas. He immerses the viewer into a world of landscape fantasy – here the lotus flowers radiant in the moonlight lighten night blue pools. The varied images touched by fantasy are unblemished by human habitation. The grand facades are empty in their grandeur- all is peaceful and nature reigns supreme, she adds.

The old Mughal city of Lahore itself is a source of influence in the artist’s work and he sees the beauty with the eyes of a newcomer aware of the heritage and history that gave rise to such monuments.


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