• 03 Nov - 09 Nov, 2018
  • Marjorie Husain
  • Art

The recently renovated Art Chowk Gallery, Karachi opened with an impressive exhibition of the work of ten artists who are full or part-time members of a teaching faculty in Pakistan, and each one showed a unique point of view in an extremely individual way. Shakira, owner of the gallery has extended the gallery by adding another large space, where she has a window that seems to overlook a great deal of Karachi. There is room for a variety of work in Art Chowk, as Shakira was one of the early artists to settle in Karachi. One remembers the first exhibition of her own paintings titled: Don’t Kill Birds! That was held in 1971. She was one of the first to object to the regular winter visitors who visited certain parts of the country to shoot the wild-life. One still remembers her feelings on these occasions. Eventually Shakira opened a gallery, and though various matters affected her life and work and visits abroad, she carefully kept all the work collected through the years, and now one is often surprised to find the early work of an artist of many years standing. Shakira has collected these pieces and does not wish to part with them.

Entering her new gallery and gazing out of the enormous window, one discovers the most beautiful large images of trees in bloom in contrast to the window view. These were the work of the ace photographer Jamal Ashecan, who has subtly captured the varied shades of the skies with great subtlety.

These works and several others in the new gallery were not part of the current exhibition, but they had their share of interest from the visitors and from the artists.

The ten artists showing their work together are all unique and well grounded in art. Each has the experience of being a faculty member of an art university, and each one has shown their work with appreciation throughout the country. The artists on show were, Abdul Malik Channa who stated: “Art lovers are a true source of motivation for an artist to create and produce artwork. I love and enjoy their expressions, and the gesture of love for art when they visit a gallery. For me, the art lovers and admirers are as important as Art itself” My work is a tribute to the respected art lovers, admirers and supporters of the artists.” Channa has considerable experience of films and working with Oxford University Press. He also has the experience as a faculty member of IVS, Karachi and is a lecturer with CEAD, Muet University Jamshoro.

In her artwork, Ayesha Naveed expresses her interest and concern with current affairs in the country… In a sense the work offers a tribute, acknowledging changing strictures and structures, in hope of a better future…

Danish Ahmed is currently working with the IVSAA, Karachi. He completed his MFA research degree from the University of New South Wales, Australia. In the artist’s very interesting contribution to the show, he had used a number of materials including charcoal. “I turn to charcoal after many years to employ the flexibility and versatility of the medium.

Moving away from my conventional and linear approach to drawing, I smudge. Erase mask and smear in order to construct the desired forms.”

Khalid Soomro is an assistant Curator at the Mohatta Palace. In his series of drawings, he reconstructs the ancient and historic sculptures and images…”which depict current time and conditions because history repeats itself in different paradigms…”

The well known and popular sculptor Munawar Ali Syed, quoted the words of Henri Cartier; ‘Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.’ Munawar had contributed drawings that he described as ‘therapy and meditation’.

Raheela Abro took her MA in Art from BEACON House National University and is a faculty member of Karachi University.

The artist had expressed her thoughts in round objects.`Round objects have been taken as the core of these drawings because the roundness hides the initiating and culminating points which metaphorically signify the keep rolling of a life cycle…”

Sheema Khan,a visiting faculty member of Karachi University, contributed fascinating drawings; the well known artist S.M.Raza, also contributed his thought provoking work, and Shazia Qureshi showed her skills with a number of materials including water colour, tea wash, and inks.

Yasmin Zahra Salman explained the semiotics of her work have always been informed by her environment, experiences, relationships, memories and reflections… The aesthetics of the iconography is eclectic and personal, almost like a hybrid language – my language.”

One cannot ask more from an artist. •