Young, Talented and Expressive in Field of Fine Art

There is no need to lose heart. Those who believe Pakistan brims with talent may have a point, at least in the field of fine art. It’s such a heartening experience to witness an exhibition of artworks of the graduating class of 2012 of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture that opened in different sections of the institution on Monday.

The marked feature of the students’ effort, as one would expect, is the diversity of ideas and techniques. The good thing about the ‘diversity’ element is that it seems to be dictated by the heart. There are very few signs of building on pre-determined thoughts. Some students astound the viewer with their concepts and others use techniques that are quite difficult to get a grip on.

Anum Jamal highlights the infrastructural hodgepodge that Karachi has become mainly because of the constant moving in and out residential blocks, causing the space to shrink. This may sound an oft-repeated complaint but the artist has somehow managed to bring in an aesthetic element to the whole issue through her fine, fine graphite on board and graphite on paper works. This means that despite understanding what the artist is trying to convey, the viewer does not lose sight of her skill.

Meera Hasan’s bold colours and images drive a point home which is: the state of denial that society is in, especially with reference to the notion of ugliness. To do that, the artist employs the pig as a symbol. Her medium is oil on canvas and ‘Perception’ is her standout piece mainly because the confusion that she tries to point out is more evident in the artwork.

Nisa Karamatullah brings out something very personal through her print on canvas and sound piece. Her depiction of the hands of the subject in an exhibit called ‘Her Obvious Presence’ proves her ability to effectively use the medium.

Laila Rizvi talks about the process of getting old and brings into focus the uncared for buildings as a symbol. One of her untitled artworks (digital print with fabric) show cracks in a structure which is a nice way of suggesting what lack of care can do not only to inanimate objects but also to living beings.

Nilofer Kamruddin Kotadia migrated to Pakistan from India not too long ago. This has made her realise the kind of ambivalence within herself a sensitive person can face. As a result she juxtaposes two languages — Gujarati and Urdu — to draw attention to the apparent visual and auditory distinctness (let’s not use the word ‘difference’) in both languages in order to acquaint the viewer with how she feels. Her piece ‘Merey Ko Maza Aey’ (print on paper, wasli – laser cutting) is wonderful enunciation of that.

Fatima Munir shows her dissatisfaction with the socio-political goings-on in the country without getting cynical about it. The lines that she’s picked from everyday life and used them on car screens are indicative of the mindset of those who come up with such phraseology as well as of those who appreciate it. In an exhibit titled ‘Qatil’ the missing Urdu letters, or so it seems, say it all.

Quratul Ain expresses her concern for the schisms that exists in holy congregations through ‘Topis’ (plaster) and succeeds in communicating her feelings to the viewer.Zohra Amarta, Anum Yaqoob Paracha and Tehmina Shamsuddin too impress with their creative endeavours.

The exhibition will continue until Dec 8.

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