Studio Seven is celebrating the art within Pakistan by putting up a wonderful show by 26 artists of the country that belong from all three generations thus encompassing a patriotic spirit from people of all ages. ‘I Live Pakistan’ is a unique combination of versatile artists and sculptors who have all put up one piece of art that reflects the spirit of the country in a wonderful fashion. The theme of this exhibit requires all artists to use the proportion or the characteristics of the Pakistani flag which is a symbolic appreciation creatively inspiring individualistic pieces by all participants.
The show is being curated by the renowned Irfan Gul and the critically acclaimed R.M Naeem, the latter artist runs the Studio RM which has collaborated with Studio Seven Gallery with this exhibit. Irfan Gul hails from The National College of Arts, Lahore after which he has been a recipient of art camps and residencies. His work for the exhibition has been exceptional, a huge installation which infuses mix media to form rectangles in the proportion of the national flag titled ‘Tera Mera’. R.M Naeem showcases his skill in art in the exhibit by putting up a beautiful render of the flag, painted with acrylic on canvas.
The works offer different textures and materials, ranging from oil and acrylic paints to mixed media such as wood, ceramics, glass, fiber and gold sheet paper (also popularly known as panni locally). A beautiful and thoughtful sculpture titled ‘Shad Baad Manzile Murad’ comes from Munawar Ali Syed who is also a faculty member at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and Visual Studies, University of Karachi. Maria Khan works with charcoal in black and red in her ‘Blooming Bouqet’, in which the star of our flags peeps from behind the red roses. Ashan Jamal renders his canvas in dark hues of charcoal depicting a cricket lover decorating his room in green and white. This particular art work is especially engaging since it offers that glimmer of hope from within the darkness of life which binds all of us Pakistanis together as we look up to a wonderful vision of positive change. Some of the art pieces have been very direct in their approach with the flag very straight forwardly painted, almost giving an idle sense. This contrasts the ones mentioned above as the latter have been much more well-rounded with the conceptualization thus offering more insight and aesthetic.
From the younger generation comes the dream of Pakistan with subjects who are hopes and visions of this country. Dua Abbas’s ‘Grass Stained and Sky Doused’ work in oil and pencil has a touch of the 90’s to it, as the subject sits in a white frock, holding a traditionally designed box. Sajid Khan uses the proportion of the flag to compile one major water color art work which uses the motif of the flag through-out. Interestingly enough, one of the best works of the exhibition comes from Abid Aslam in the form of mixed media, styled as a rickshaw which is a popular mode of transport in the country. By using the colors and the design of the flag, Aslam designs his fascinating art work which successfully infuses the spirit of the local culture and its importance in our lives.
Other artists with versatile works include the designer and entrepreneur Noor Jehan Bilgrami with her ‘An Event in History’, Amra Khan’s ‘Gama Pakistan’ and the veteran Ahmed Khan’s ‘I Love Pakistan’. It is interesting to note that all artists have used the theme of the flag as either a direct motif in their art works which would be wonderful wall adornments and collections for the lovers of the green/white or have narrated the patriotic conceptualization within their works in one way or another. The exhibition has been very warmly received by the public; the space of the galley was full of visitors in conversations with the artists and the curators as this comes as a motivating event while we move into the New Year. The exhibition runs till January 17, 2017.