A group show of new art works by recent graduates of MA (hons) and Postgraduate Diploma from National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore was recently held at VM Art Gallery in Karachi curated by Mariam Hanif.
It featured the works of Zainab Fatima, Hina Muhammad, Huma Maqbool, Javed Iqbal Mughal, Komal Jameel, Marooha Mohsin, Mawra Khokhar, Murk Malik, Noor ul Huda Saif Ali Siddiqi and Sarah Mir
Zainab Fatima’s work revolves around the idea of displacement and the quest of having to redefine one’s anchors for inevitable reasons such as death- or for more fortuitous reasons, such as marriage, having to move for employment. The latter notion of displacement is one in which an opportunity or new beginnings is created through loss. The work is a personal struggle of belongingness and identity. The recreation of old photographs of her parents is a symbol of the imminent changes relationship will be encountering. Mostly pastel drawings, her work takes a surrealist turn in imagery where objects appear in unexpected ways for instance, petals enclosing a dark moon, the occurrence of multiple moons simultaneously or the hanging of floral garlands that denotes transition.
Hina Muhammad’s work questions the normative modes of image construction which is beyond the representational standards. For her the idea of a beautiful image comes in the depiction of morbid reality. The experience which she had concerning her surrounding spaces are rendered and juxtaposed in such a way that they reflect history. Her process revolves around multiples mediums where painting, sculpture and photography become the parallel means of visual expression.
Huma Maqbool captures uncertainty that arises in the disclosure of a reality. The map that her mind constructs is questioned with every shift and change of belief or perspective and she feel surrounded in an endless maze.
Javed Iqbal Mughal’s work explores silent conversations between the male genders in society and studies the unbalanced nature of hierarchy amongst men. These hierarchies, which in his opinion are questionable, have become norms accepted and followed by society. He unpacks these muted conversations by using facial expressions and hand gestures, which are considerably masculine and at times, aggressive. Compositional elements such as chiaroscuro and the use of forms that appear obscured or unrevealed are employed to heighten the mystery and sinister mood within the works.
Komal Jameel’s work is about life and freedom and freedom of womanhood. For her water is a symbol of liberty and the flying splashes are like the power or right to act, speak or thinks as one wants. Woman is transparent as water and they have right to fly like these splashes.
Marooha Mohsin’s work is based on photo manipulation. She uses a variety of photos of human figures, animals and places to create surreal visuals with unique stories. Influenced by environment, she imagines various visuals as she begins to illustrate. She uses these illustrations in her work. Old books and pages intrigue the artist as they carry different stories and histories within them.
Mawra Khokhar’s work grows out of her personal experiences. From witnessing the everyday struggles of a woman in our patriarchal society, to being that very woman herself, her painting turns into visual records. She tries to capture the feelings generated in moments like stepping out of door to catch a breath of fresh air, only to be left choked up as you encounter a man’s twisted gaze. Out of breath she observes the crowds and how they constrict her walk, her routes, her laughter and thoughts. In her paintings she uses crowded compositions to depict the chaos and congestion that she experiences in public spaces. Noor ul Huda’s work depicts the sensitive socio-political dialogue through domestic scenes. Currently the subject matter of her work has expanded to include the public realm. The impact of social and cultural circumstances extended beyond the domestic realm is what she is grappling with. She creates panoramic views on bitumen sheet using a variety of materials. These scenes contain hidden details that speak to the societal and cultural influences on us, particularly ones that came from being a woman.
Saif Ali Siddiqi’s work is about an obsession of drawing free hand repetitive patterns. The images in work come from his interaction with immediate surroundings filtered through his post-colonial concerns. While incorporating his patterns into these historic spaces and images he addresses the confusion and anxiety it creates within the object and mind of the viewer.
Sarah Mir’s work evokes the experience of movement and of sound. All surroundings have memories of time and space. She has focused on the energy and emotion of spaces in nature as well as congested urban sprawls. Insinuation towards the robustness of an urban scape, grandeur of the sea, stativity of a built environment, this gestural quality enables her to visually respond to the surface of my paintings intuitively.