A group exhibition of Haider Ali Naqvi, Jovita Alvares, Razin Rubin and Ayesha Naveed recently unveiled at Chawkandi Art Gallery in Karachi. Through the premise of this exhibition, the artists explored their distinct pasts that now affect their present practice, be it through an introspective journey into oneself or a retrospective outlook onto the city that has shaped them.
Haider Ali Naqvi revisits the structures inhabited by his family for generations. His investigation takes him from his current abode all the way back to numerous ancestral homes in India. Working with conventional mediums of graphite on paper, as well as found documents, photographs, tracings, name plates, aerogram and letters that he has collected from various sources in the family over the years, Naqvi maps out his lineage through the physical structures left behind. Through his amalgamation, he explores the transition of architecture, culture, tradition that has changed with time, in context to his own family history.
Naqvi was born in June 1992 in Karachi, Pakistan. After receiving early education from the same city, went on to National College of Arts Lahore for BFA in 2015 (With painting as a major and Graduating with a distinction). Since then his works have been featured in various shows nationally and internationally. Currently, he is part of permanent faculty at Indus Valley School of art and architecture.
Jovita Alvares explores the nuances of daily life through the ever-evolving themes of urbanism, through frequent documentation and re-documentation. Her work explores the immediate surrounding of her space, a space she grew up in, one that has evolved each day. There is an interest in the everyday life of the city. Alvares understands her surrounding and creates work that portrays the spatial present with historical context. She investigates urban aspirations of security as well as a contrasting need to beautify the space by building floral façades over bleak and rigid urban planning. The bougainvillea plant becomes the protagonist for the artist, as well as a vantage point from where she understands the ever-expanding metropolis. Otherwise overlooked, Alvares brings to focus this plant that continues to mold to human expectation, which, unobtrusively commandeers the Karachi backdrop. The resulting artwork become like specimens of her journey and experience, and allows the viewer to see the city from her vantage point.
Graduating with a Bachelors in Fine Art from the prestigious Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Jovita Alvares, received a distinction in thesis, overall distinction and consequently the title of valedictorian of the class of 2016. She has received numerous awards including the Imran Mir Art Prize, for upcoming artists, in 2016. Alvares is a visual artist by profession and has had multiple group shows in Karachi, Lahore, London and Dubai. She has also participated in the 4th Sanat artist residency in 2017.
Razin Rubin, through a taught routine of interacting amongst each other during daily family dinners, explores the fleeting nature of time and intimacy. She recalls a time of sharing everyday routines- school, friends, and work – at the dining table with the whole family. With no pictures of eating with her late parents, Rubin studies the found images of her siblings and other family members eating together. Her work is reminiscent of a ritual followed for many years; a shared routine with a nuclear household. The drawings portray a time now lost, a space once full
Razin Rubin was born in Sukkur, Sindh, situated on the west bank of River Indus. During her time in Sukkur she was more focused on drawing and won a number of awards for her school. Rubin decided to take her art practice forward and came to Karachi to study art in 2013, and received her B.F.A from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi in 2016. She explored various mediums, but her studio practice focuses on miniature painting, drawing and photography. Her work interacts with the viewer and creates a dialogue around the things she witnesses in her daily routine. Rubin has exhibited her work extensively in Pakistan as well as internationally. She is currently working as an Assistant Coordinator at Vasl Artists’ Association. Rubin lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan.
Ayesha Naveed focuses on the daily maneuvering of the household sofa. It is common for certain spaces and objects in our lives that are ostensibly inconsequential to gain special significance due to certain associations that go along with it. By continuously observing this ritualistic and seemingly mundane activity, Naveed explores the spatial precincts of time and its impact. Her work operates on this idea, documenting the use of the sofa and reads much like a study of the space and the people occupying it, focusing on their activities rather than identities, finding a certain solace in their daily rituals. Questions arise of the importance of overlooked rituals, as well as invite the viewer into a world of tremendous possibilities where the vague figures Naveed paints, become codes to be deciphered through clothing and gestures.
Ayesha Naveed was born and raised in Karachi. She completed her bachelors in Fine Art in 2016 with majors in print making and minor in painting. Her work is an exploration of the medium of painting itself. She takes her inspiration from her experiences and surroundings. She lures the viewer into entering a world of many possibilities where imagery and intentions become delightfully vague by stripping away identity in her paintings. She has displayed her work in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Nepal. She currently lives and works in Karachi.