KARACHI, Oct 7: Sometimes certain things become fashionable in art, for example, quoting Rumi. How does one distinguish between a true admirer of the poet and someone who likes to name-drop and quote couplets at the drop of a hat to impress others? It is an easy question to answer. Observe closely a work of art inspired by Rumi (or any other poet for that matter). If it makes you identify with how you feel about the poet and his work, the motivation is genuine. If it doesn’t, close your eyes and seek forgiveness of Rumi. Artist Khusro Subzwari’s latest body of work inspired by Rumi’s poetry opened on Sunday at a hotel.
Let’s establish at the outset that is something quite impressive, mainly because the artist hasn’t made these artworks with a paintbrush but with his mind’s eye.
This means that Rumi has influenced Mr Subzwari on an intellectual level. Yes, the title of the show is ‘Colours of the Spiritual Journey’, yes there are whirling dervishes in it, yes it’s layered with colours that evoke spirituality in the viewer; at the same time the artworks speak of a cerebral link that the likes of Rumi have with the rest of the world.
In other words, Mr Subzwari through his exhibits has tried to make a connection of the Sufi poet’s work with the material world he was a part of. The thick strokes and the whirling colours do not just signify the metaphysical nature of Sufi poetry; but also help the viewer understand their correlation with the piece of land they considered their abode, albeit temporary. The swirls of the movement do not make the viewer giddy with the unnecessary burden of philosophy — they turn him into an ‘understanding individual’.
This is why the Rumi quotes that accompany the artwork have been carefully chosen. “Nothing can nourish the soul but light,” “Be silent, only the hands of God can remove the burden of your heart.” It’s noticeable that the soul is an intangible thing followed by light that is not entirely immaterial. Similarly, hands of God belong to the
metaphysical world and the heart, a physical reality. So, it’s a journey that is as much to do with the mind as to the heart, if not more. The exhibition will continue for a fortnight.
An online art gallery is launching the works of 45 Pakistani artists, many of them newcomers, at a special show in Dubai Design District from October 6 to 8 in a bid to popularise Pakistani art on a global platform.
Omar Ul Haq, founder and curator of Treasure Trove, said the show would be a marketplace to discover curated art from Pakistan which has a “phenomenal collection” to offer.
“The artists we work with employ different styles ranging from calligraphy and abstract art to landscapes and figuratives. But many of them are not known at the international level, so we wanted to showcase their work to a wide audience,” said Haq.
He said, “Art makes a lasting impact on the beholder — whether it is by a Pakistani or an international artist, a newcomer, or someone who is well established. We believe in art without boundaries.”
Among the artists who will be exhibiting their works are Sasan Nasernia, Komail Aijazuddin, Hajra Mansoor, AQ Arif, Ali Abbas, Asif Ghayaz, Abrar, Qamar Siddiqui, Salman Farooqi, Raza Memon, Tanya Shah, Mohsin Shaikh, sarfraz Musawir, Aadil Abedi, Muniba Mazari, Saeed Akhter, Moazzam Ali, Raja Changez Sultan, AS Rind and Khusro Subzwari.
Haq said the artworks at the show were not only visually appealing but reflective of the poignant stories of the artists present. “We expect people of different cultures and backgrounds to attend the exhibition and hopefully learn more about Pakistani artists and their works of art. Our clients come from far and wide, including countries like Turkey, Croatia, the United Kingdom and United States.”
He said Treasure Trove earlier featured furniture, home décor and accessories in its earlier editions. “This year, we are focusing only on artworks.”
Different strokes. Treasure Trove will showcase different styles of works from calligraphy to abstract art.
From October 29-December 8, Londoners will get to see a 'different face' of Pakistan than the negative portrayal that dominates the international media. To benefit CARE Pakistan, London's Asia House is hosting "Different Faces of Pakistan", an exhibition curated by Sasheen Abbasi that showcases the variety of contemporary Pakistani art, from landscapes and figurative works to Abstraction, Cubism, and graphic calligraphy. Works by Sadequain, Khusro Subzwari, Farrukh Shahab, Inam Raja, Dr Wasif Ali, and Tassaduq Sohail offer glimpses into Pakistani culture, society, and the evolution of its art scene. Abbasi has selected works that demonstrate the “creativity, courage and conviction of artists living through some of the most trying times the nation has witnessed over the past few decades”. As such, the show captures the real face of Pakistan. – Text by Huma Yusuf
Artist: Dr Wasif Ali ? Temptation of Eve. Oil on canvas.Artist: Dr Wasif Ali ? Temptation of Eve. Oil on canvas.Artist: Dr Wasif Ali ? Nightmare of the Pharaoh. Oil on canvas.Artist: Farrukh Shahab ? Females in Cubic Form. Oil on canvas.Artist: Farrukh Shahab ? Females in Cubic Form. Oil on canvas.Artist: Inam Raja ? Waiting for Time. Acrylic on paper.Artist: Inam Raja ? In Secret We Met In Silence I Grieve. Acrylic on paper.Artist: Inam Raja ? Lonely Woman. Acrylic on paper.Artist: Khusro Subzwari ? Life Under The Sea. Oil on canvas.Artist: Tassaduq Sohail ? Glory of Life 2011. Oil on canvas.Artist: Tassaduq Sohail ? Images of Life. Oil on canvas.Artist: Sadequain ? Untitled, 1968. Ink on paper.
Recently, an exhibition by four talented artists took place in Karachi. You! takes a look...
Art exhibitions are always a surreal experience for the attendees who are exposed to the creativity of an artist and how they view the world. And group shows have twice the appeal as they bring numerous artists under one roof and offer art lovers with the diversity of talent. Luckily, Karachi has proven to be a hub of inventiveness and various art exhibitions are held every now and then. Amongst the many art exhibitions that had something great to offer was the one recently held at Full Circle Gallery. The exhibition aimed to display different perceptions of the Asian society through the works of four renowned artists Javed Qamar, Khusro Subzwari, Mehtab Ali and SM Naqvi. Read on to find out more about the artists and their creations.
At the exhibition, each artist had something different to offer but it was Javed Qamar’ creations, inspired by the 16th century art, that caught everyone’s eye. The artist’s passion for calligraphy and his keen interest in Arabic alphabets was evident from his disposed calligraphic works as each piece had great detail and precision. According to the Javed, he persistently develops new techniques that greatly affect his work and give his artwork depth. Amongst many displayed, was a calligraphic piece that displayed one of the 99 names of Allah in an old Egyptian style.
The art piece stood out because of the tints and tones of blue and white that were used by the artist.
In another painting, the artist had used striking colours and shapes, while a round frame was used to depict the various spheres of human life. Explaining his art, Qamar said, “In my work, every colour has a meaning. And the calligraphy, although a distortion of alphabets, is done in such a way that it is easily understood by an observer while the essence of the art remains intact.”
Also, dwelling on the lines of spirituality was Khusro Subzwari’s collection of paintings titled ‘Whirling Dervishes’. Khusro has participated in numerous International exhibitions in Istanbul, Switzerland, London and UAE. He has also represented Pakistan, in the International Art Fair in Lugano, Switzerland, in Nov 2012. His paintings were also selected, recently to be a part of the movie ‘Zehr-e-Ishq’, a film based on Rumi’s poetry.
Khusro’s theme was based on Rumi’s verses and inspired by the love and spirituality - the essence of Rumi’s poetry. According to the artist, his interest in this theme started from his visit to Istanbul in 2011 where he saw a few exhibitions. “The ‘Sema’ sessions and the ‘aura of spirituality’, surrounding the whirling dervishes, touched me deeply,” explained Khusro. Each art piece followed a different colour theme and included a whirling dervish. One which stood out comprised a marvellous combination of pink shades, tints and contrasting colours. In short, his work was a rare and sublime depiction of a spiritual man.
Another artist who displayed his work was Mehtab Ali. The artist has earned for himself a high place among the accomplished Pakistani, South Asian artists through his hard work and dedication. For those who don’t know, Mehtab Ali is a Science Graduate from the University of Karachi, who ventured into arts because of the passion and talent he possessed. He has proven himself in many areas including miniature, portrait and calligraphy - using different mediums like oil, pen n ink, pastel colours and water colours. The artist also specializes in portrait, still life, landscape and cultural paintings. Special displays of Mehtab Ali’s paintings have been held at the Royal Family Palace, Brunei; Our Future World Foundation, USA; Islamic Centre, Washington DC; Alliance Francaise de Paris; Raja Indisches Restaurant Kassel, Germany and Japan Foundation, Tokyo. Mehtab’s paintings that depict women in eastern dresses, have attracted great attention due to their details and intricate sketches.
At this particular exhibition, the artist once again managed to impress the audience by painting eastern women in their everyday life. A particular artwork that stole the show was his painting titled ‘Humjoliyan’. The painting was of five female friends clad in Saris, posing in different styles against a wall. The emphasis over tiny details of sub-continental jewellery added to the paintings attraction. According to the artist, “I have tried to paint the various romantic moods of a traditional woman with the help of colours and scaling of the frame.”
Last but not least was the artwork by Syed Mohd Naqvi. He chose to paint “Lyrical Abstraction” that is often abstract. This sort of art is mostly about emotions and spontaneity, where the clear brush strokes manage to serve as a mean of expression. Regarding the art pieces displayed at the exhibition, Mohd Naqvi stated, “I take liberties in altering colour and form in ways that are conspicuous and achieve total abstraction bearing no trace of any reference to anything recognizable. I explore the bold use of paint surface, brush strokes and intense colour as I produce emotionally charged paintings that are reactions of my experiences. I express through colours; some express happiness, while others depict depression.”
The abstract managed to pull the audience in because of the strokes and colour combination used. And they were more than enough to leave an impact on one’s mind. Overall, the exhibition was a success and a hub of creativity, as it included works by some of the most talented people in the art industry; all under one roof. Exhibitions like these are food for thought for all art lovers who know how to interpret the strokes of the artist.
When we are touched, we are moved. This transformative experience is the thing that an artist is always chasing. Artists break rules and find unconventional ways of approaching societal issues, domestic violence against women, religion, nature, life, Sufism and love.
All this has been on display at an exhibition, featuring works of 35 artists, which opened at the Clifton Art Gallery last Thursday and will continue till April 28. Khusro Subzwari’s painting ‘Whirling Dervishes’, an oil-on-canvas, with the main theme based on Mevlana Rumi’s verses, is a total embodiment of inspiration that derives from Rumi’s poetry on spirituality and love.
According to Subzwari, his inspiration is drawn from the belief in the invisible spiritual world and that there is more to life than the visible materialistic world. He says he is highly inspired and driven by Rumi’s verses and privileged to convey these feelings to the masses through his art. In his view, the spiritual enlightenment leads to the soulful life with extraordinarily high energy.
“For me, painting is all about relationship. Through this I establish relationship with the past and make history synonymous with our souls. In my paintings, you can see an abstract interpretation of the human soul. Every painting of my collection is a new discovery. I work for the beauty of nature with personal interpretation as the artist’s individual subject creates a feeling of intimacy with the viewer,” said another artist, Mona Naqsh, daughter of renowned artist Jamil Naqsh.
“I have heard that art speaks for itself, but after looking at these astonishing paintings, now I know how true it is. Every painting is so wonderful and speaking out the theme of the painting itself. It is mesmerizing that how beautifully these artists have showed the issues in the society through their paintings,” said a visitor, Hassan Ahmed, while sharing his experience about the exhibition.
Nahid Raza graduated from The Central Institute of Arts and Crafts (CIAC) and started displaying her work in the early 1970s. She has exhibited her work around the globe numerous times and established herself as one of the few female names in Pakistan’s art industry. Her work focuses on the quandary of women, and the ups and downs and sometimes disappointments women face every day.
“My work represents today’s women’s issues. My portraits can be perceived both as work of art and also a tool which will contribute to women’s empowerment. My illustration reflects those global problems that women face every day. My work depicts the solitude in dark rooms. At times, I dedicate more detail and definition to objects that show how important the role of women in this world is,” said master artist Raza.
Huma Javed, who was visiting the gallery with her friends, said: “After our exams we have to decide our career path and for that we need a correct direction. I myself love painting and drawing but people keep telling me that it’s better to choose some other field rather than opting to become an artist as we don’t appreciate art and artists here in Pakistan. But after coming here and looking at this absolute soul-shaking work, I am so impressed that it gave me goosebumps and now I really want to be an artist.”
Khusro Subzwari is a self- taught artist, who has been passionate for art since his childhood. He completed his Civil Engineering from NED University in 1981. While pursuing his engineering studies, he kept on participating actively in art related programs. His oil painting work was rewarded by 2nd prize by ‘Gulgee’ in 1978.
Khusro worked for a year in Saudi Arabia, and subsequently went to USA to complete his Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, USA, in 1984. This background in the field of engineering proved to be an asset for Khusro in the development of his understanding the form, composition, balance, texture and creation of the 3 dimensional effects in his paintings.
Khusro works in different styles and themes, from landscapes and cityscapes to abstractions, and now, after a spiritual awakening from his visit to Turkey, onwards, Sufism has become one of his main theme.
Khusro Subzwari Born October 1, 1957 in Karachi.
Khusro subzwari paintings
Khusro subzwari paintings are popular globally and have been well acknowledged by various states. His background in engineering proved as an asset while he created marvelous paintings. He has a sound authority on balance, form, composition coupled with textures and creativity while painting. His paintings can be found in almost every corner of the world. People enjoy his painting for its beautiful colors, texture and theme. Khusro’s floral and Sufi paintings are very much enjoyed locally in Pakistan and internationally as well. Khusro adds depth to his work as his paintings have a 3d effect.
His paintings are frequently being discussed as having a spiritual calm and forces the viewers into exploring the inner self. Looking at his paintings one can find admirable beauty in the vibrant color selection.
Thematic of Khusro Subzwari paintings elevate the entire room. Khusro loves taking inspiration from nature and is fond of painting durveshes that symbolize spirituality and love. You can find the paintings of khusro subzwari for sale at Clifton Art Gallery Karachi, Pakistan.
Having initial education in engineering from NED University in 1981 khusro participated in art related events in his teens. It was in those events when in 1978 Khusro Subzwari Painting received 2nd Price from Ismail Gulgee. Soon he realized that he has a natural connection with art. Khusro initially came into the limelight at the time of flood relief in 2010 when his paintings were exhibited to fund the cause.
Khusro Subzwari Paintings come in almost every size from small to large 12x12, 18 x 24, 24 x 24, 24 x 30, 30 x 36, 42 x 72, 60 x 84 and others.