A Curatorial Project by Mariam Mushtaq Kazi and Jamal Ashiqain was an art exhibition held at Chawkandi Art Gallery to pay tribute in the form of an apology celebrating a legendary poet of Pakistan who mostly wrote in Sindhi Language, and his contribution to literature is not deniable.
The show was a contemporary take on the subject with artists taking an indirect, thought provoking approach to express their views not only highlighting the works of Shaikh Ayaz but also highlighting the importance of celebrating and owning the cultural diversity and learning to value and celebrate it.
The artists who showcased their work included Aqeel Solangi, Khalil Chishtee, Zohra Amarta Shah, Mohsen Keiany, Abro, Agha Jandan and Abdul Jabbar Gull.
Aqeel Solangi takes inspiration from the writers/poets especially from Amrita Pritam, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Nasir Kazmi, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and now Sheikh Ayaz. The artist recalls how in his childhood days, the poetry of Shaikh Ayaz was a discussion point among circles. His work represents one of the verses of the poet. Solangi has used Chrysanthemum, which is commonly used on special occasions, showing it as a vehicle to eternity.
Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Khalil Chishtee (1964) is a visual artist based in New York City. Chishtee holds a MA in studio arts from Sac State, Sacramento, CA. Before moving to States he taught at National College of Arts, Lahore, Pakistan, for ten years. Besides exhibiting his work Chishtee has done public commissions in various cities of Pakistan and now he is involved in several art commission in NYC by focusing on his “desi esthetics”. Chishtee intends his art for transformation rather than decoration, diversion or indoctrination. In his view, the art is meant to serve for cultivating knowledge of how to be in the world, for going through life. His installations, sculptures, and site-specific works have been exhibited internationally as well.
Zohra Amarta Shah is a Pakistani artist whose diverse work focuses on social issues including child abuse, gender violence and human rights. Her fascination with the fine Arts and specially painting grew at the early years spent in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her work blends between the western and eastern cultures, which came to her naturally by experiencing the life in both the diverse cultures having rich artistic background and history. Born in 1983 at Hyderabad, Pakistan, she studied at Indus Valley School of Art And Architecture. She has worked in wide range of Fine Art and Teaching environments. She has been working with Beyond the Diagnosis Art Exhibit - Rare Disease United Foundation in order to help them with their mission of bringing attention to the wide variety of rare diseases that effects the global population through art. Shah currently lives and works in Islamabad.
Mohsen Keiany was born in 1970 in Shiraz, Iran, close to the world heritage site of Persepolis. Mohsen is an artist, author and lecturer in architecture and visual arts. He has done his Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts (Painting), and completed his PhD and Post-doctoral degree in architecture from Birmingham City University (BCU), UK. He has published several papers and articles on art and his book; “Baluchistan; architecture crafts and religious symbolism” was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Mohsen Keiany is an award-winning artist whose work has been show-cased at more than seventy international ventures. He has over eighteen years of academic experience in a variety of arts-based subjects, and his research extends into multi-culturalism, and the traditional arts and architecture of different cultures.
Abro and his work can be mentioned in the category of the artists and works that have an earnest feel for social issues, and portray these issues effectively and with a passion. Born in Hyderabad in 1957, Abro has dabbled in every form of the visual arts.
Abro's work may fall short of being labelled as enigmatic, but it has all the drama, mystery and intense content that can make one sit up and indulge in a watchful gaze. Studying from National College of Arts, Abro has held several exhibitions and participated in group shows. To bring detail to the thought of each moment, I have used different positions of the sun in colors mixed with golden in the background and hidden behind sharp, black strokes which portray death.
For the artist Agha Jandan, creation in itself, is never interrupted; there is always a room for Ruh; the Spirit of The Beloved to pervade, to enhance and therefore to impart more jot and a greater love. He paints blackboards in which he portrays phenomenon that happens in classrooms as well as in society. Through these visual poems, he aims to render tangible the nobleness of spiritual emotions and the innate richness of the human soul. He accomplishes this by using a combination of emphatic circular rough strokes or drawings symbolizing the movements that culminate in mystical ecstasy.
Abdul Jabbar Gull explores the mysterious link of the corporeal world to the ethereal world, fleeing his thoughts on delicate wings of imagination. Confronted with ever deeper, unresolved questions, he translates into the focus of his subject as three dimensional, winged forms. By juxtaposing them with the Thakhti, a symbol of awareness, his thoughts fly hither and thither, leading him into unknown dimensions, ever teasing ever intriguing.