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Fantastic Four By Samina Shaheen

Recently, an exhibition by four talented artists took place in Karachi. You! takes a look...Fantastic four

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.”Fantastic four

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.

Fantastic fourAnother 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.Fantastic four

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.”Fantastic four

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.



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