A duo show of artist Ajab Khan and Shahid Ali recently unveiled in October at Art Scene Gallery in Karachi. Revolving around the premise of rural landscapes, the paintings done in oil on canvas spoke volumes about the beauty and serenity linked with the urban settings.
Landscape painting is a popular genre of art that artists paint to portray the un-spoilt natural beauty. For Ajab Khan, the love and attachment to his hometown is evident in his work. He brings out the natural beauty of the land in the form of foliage, vegetation and abundant of greenery that surrounds the town. The simple houses amidst the green pastures are a true depiction of the lifestyle of the urbanites. Paying attention to the changing façade of the sky, the colours on the leaves the varied elements of the natural land, he creates images that transform the viewers into an enigmatic situate. Replicating the true hues of the environment, Khan highlights the crimsons, canary and the sublime shades of green with exquisite finesse. Furthermore, one can marvel at the beauty of how the entire scenery comes together bonding the streams, trees and pastures along with birds that sit daintily on the water bodies. The fields, crops and harvesting are equally integrated in his work to show how significant they are in that particular setting. The unmade road, passageways through bushes and walkways along the stream is an indication of how life has evolved around the nature. The result of his work emphasizes the importance of values and meanings to understand the intricate relationship between human beings and the landscape.
Ajab Khan is a self-taught artist based in Dera Ismail Khan. He has been painting for the past 30 years and has won a number of national and international accolades.
For artist Shahid Ali, the inspiration to paint comes from the cultural bondage he feels with his hometown. His landscapes are more vibrant, rich and carry a feeling of nostalgia. The beauty of solitude, tranquility and relinquishing to the undertones is a soft message here. A loner boat sitting at the bank of a river is a replica of romance and love that is associated with the land. Most of his paintings are a testimony to the artist’s mood; melancholic at times and merry at others. In some instances, an emotional tug is felt as the trees whispers in the air and water runs forth. In others, the joy of dancing flowers evokes a sense of mirth. The trees with their fulsome foliage and dainty branches speckled across the canvas gives a unique expression of belonging.