The recently held group show at Mussawir Art Gallery, a subsidiary of Ejaz Art Gallery in Lahore showed masterpieces of some highly acclaimed contemporary artists of Pakistan.
A.Q. Arif’s work is mostly about dreamy, striking landscapes that stand out for their beautiful amalgamation of imagination and reality. Depicting a delusion affect, the architectural elements in his work are mostly domes and tall buildings that appear to speak of history shimmering as reflected images in wide pools of water. Spellbound by the beauty of the rural areas, the artist depicts lush landscapes, predominant green areas that offer a sense of space. His work appears to invite the viewer to a world of landscape touched by fantasy and unspoiled by human habitation. Abid Aslam presents a series of work that relies on the concept 'dialogue between two beings' who lay down in conversation with each other to discuss various problems existing in our society among human beings; to find out the best solution and answers to all the queries. The whole body of work is actually the inner thoughts of the artist which he carried out in his own words.
Abida Dahri is a believer of surrealist manifesto as she thinks subjectively using emotions, memories, perceptions and desires in a pattern that may appear to be very complex. Her work is a reflection of an organized interplay of elements while being a total chaos at the same time.
Ahmed Khan is a name to reckon with when it comes to carrying out folk art research programme through out Pakistan. He participated in numerous national and international group shows. His work signifies a unique emblem of intricate calligraphic work that uses muted colours.
Aamir Kamal’s palette retains hues associated with traditional Arabic calligraphy. He also employs silver and gold leaf to achieve his set goals. Composition sensibility is also evident in his work. He makes aesthetic use of geometric forms and at places, each form becomes an independent art picture. His calligraphy lives and moves on the flat surface that presents a mystic state of mind, which is deciphered and understood through sensibility in meditation and concentration. Amir Kamaal has been painting calligraphy since 1997. At his current show at the Ejaz Gallery, Lahore he has made a shift in his medium. His early performance was on paper and wasli. This time he has chosen to paint on canvas.
Arif Khan’s work mainly revolves around the concept of unification with the ultimate One. It refers to his expedition towards decoding the hidden language of the Holy Quran with meditative practice of the mystic letters on his surface. Some of the letters are readable while some are a bit vague, hence the interplay of both the visible and the non-visible, readable and the vague letters highlights the mystic letters in bridging a link between extrinsic and the intrinsic truth.
Artist Asghar Ali, the first prize winner of the International contest of the Islamic Calligraphy held in Makkah in 2012 takes inspiration from the divine message itself. Calligraphy has become his passion over the years as he has unfolded many artistic masterpieces.
Ashraf Heera’s amazing achievement is the winning of the IRCICA prize (Turkish International Competition) at the age of 9 consequently getting his name documented in the Guinness World Records Book. His other achievements include many international awards, National Presidential Talent Award, UNESCO Award, Diamond of Pakistan Award, National Youth Award, Quaid e- Azam Award, National Creativity Award and NUN Wul-QALAM award. He acquired his education from National College of Arts Pakistan, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul and learnt from eminent teachers of calligraphy and illumination from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan.
Aswa Mahmood, M.A fine art gold medallist from UCAD mostly delves in oil paint medium. Her work is a mesh of beautifully laid out lines and curves that create a stunning piece of calligraphic expression. Through the dots, lines and shapes, Aylia Adil explores the value of love, harmony and faith. His work denotes the specific quality and reflects the core essence.
Bin Qulander’s abstract composition is not only based on Arabic Letters, but it is a reflection of his father’s Sufism shown through delicate narrow lines resulting in huge formations for a magnificent art piece. Totally immersed in his work, there is a distinct quality that speaks volumes.
Chitra Pritam’s work unleashes the beauty of form and color, ranging from the delicate nuances to the vibrant imagery of crisp forms and dazzling colors. It takes decades of analytical visual experience combined with perpetual expression to overcome the challenge of constantly altering light. Chitra Pritam, with his persistent painting, continues to discover new frontiers of creativity in the arena where light, form and color converge as gladiators to daunt the artist. His versatile hand in the area of landscapes, seascapes, calligraphy and figurative art is to offer diverse audiences to observe the work from individual perspectives. Pritam’s precise calligraphy showcases sensitive strokes.
Walking through the lines of calligraphy, Daud Ahmad satisfies his inner soul through “rhythm”. He calls calligraphy, a ritual, a meditation and soul defining music. His work not only represents the flow of his thoughts, it’s also a mixture of different languages and types of typography that he merges to create a language of his own.
Irfan Ahmed’s paintings are a testimony of his passion for colours. Essentially, the colors provide a unique platform to face challenges. He designs what he thinks and feels and transforms that onto the canvas. Irfan Ahmed’s passion for art started from a very young age. His innate desire to paint always helped him to cope with lows and celebrate the highs of his life. He finds solace in colours that provide him with the much-needed courage to face challenges.
Jamshed Qaisar’s work is based on abstraction and reflection on traditional Calligraphy. The inspiration came from Iranian calligraphic fonts such as Shikasta and Moalla. He has been working on traditional fonts including Nasta”aliq, Thuluth, Naskh, Dewani and Kufi.
Javed Qamar’s exuberant and brightly colored work is based on calligraphy paintings that catch the attention of the viewer at first glance. The composition of his work speaks of the God's omnipotence: he is all over the globe in different forms. Muhammad Ali Bukhari has emerged as a powerful landscapist, calligrapher and semi-abstract compositionist. He has beautifully branched into a consummate impressionist during his two years training in Rome's Albumen School of Arts. In order to give a visual impact of his individualistic Arabic calligraphy in “Ism-E- Azam” compositions, the artist has designed a scalpel-like pen so that he can engrave letters into layers of oil color. Each of his work acquires sharply delineated aesthetic with decorative depth.
Muhammad Ibrahim’s scope of art revolves around the existence of Allah all around us. He takes inspiration from the nature that surrounds him and builds on his calligraphic landscapes with layers of overlapping archaic text taken from the Quran. These layers are drawn with the infinite color palette we see through nature as each season brings its array of hues and tones.
Muneeb Ali’s paintings are all about thoughts, spoken or written and letters that have the powerful potential to transform the world we live in. The artist links the varied experiences through longings and strongest emotions that can delve into adventures or transport us to another place. For him, the power of letters is hard to comprehend and impossible to resist.
Mudassar Ali Zaib’s work is the fusion of traditional and contemporary adaption. It celebrates chaos, the unexplained, and demonstrates the complexity of forms and shapes. In his work, he uses colour as a subject of philosophical meditation which emits the folk tradition.
Noreen Akhtar takes inspiration from the Arabic Language. She finds an everlasting relation with Arabic alphabets as she uses them in her work. She tries to show importance of nukta in a different manner. Though it seems small and useless but it plays important part in completion of Arabic alphabets.
Through his work, Shahid Rana explores the universal values of love, faith, prayer, beauty, and divinity. In the synthesis of these emotions and pictograms, with Holy lettering, he has developed his own unique style of calligraphy. He fuses colours, dots, lines and words and constructs new modes of expression based on traditional Arabic writing.
Shiblee Muneer’s work projects a mumbling with Arabic text. In its intricate form, it signifies the hidden meanings of many metaphors of life, the daily routine work and some confusing thoughts too.
Through her work, Ufaq Ehsan reflects on the human psyche and the symbolic meaning of art. Her work is inspired by diverse colors and their healing powers. Most of her paintings are about personalities, auras and moods of people around which she shapes her work. Rumi’s poetry became her muse and a gentle guide to experience the universal love which bonds all humans. Her work has evolved to reflect the understanding of the universe seen through the eyes and heart of the Sufi mystics.
Zulqarnain’s calligraphic expression is a depiction of divine inspiration. For the artist, the inspiration comes from various names of Allah and Quranic verses. Using variable fonts over with elegant silver and gold leafing, he creates masterpieces. The negative spacing and calligraphic circles over the white and colorful background reflects classicism of his paintings.
For Zulfiqar Ali, Calligraphy is an ancient art that also branches out into Islamic calligraphy that remains our religious as well as cultural heritage. Zulfiqar Ali’s preference seem to be inclined towards khat--e-kufi as he writes Quranic words on canvas in a modern style. His creativity expresses his broad vision and artistic qualities.