Quirks in ambiguity


KARACHI – Over the years Asad Hussain has examined a radical change in human psychology, whereas Farooq Mustafa’s works are short stories of himself, his surroundings and his surreal imagination, said a press release issued by the Canvas Gallery where Hussain and Mustafa’s exhibition of artworks titled ‘Ambiguous Journey’ is running until April 21.
Hussain said, “I have observed imbalanced minds and injustice that has unleashed the animal inside us and set it loose. Awareness, as we like to call it, in my view is a completely incorrect perception. With no thoughts in mind like the majority of our people, we are nothing but animals, who act and feed like them.”
In these times, regardless of our power and supremacy, in some point in time we find our self standing face to face with our harsh reality and that is when ignorance comes into action, which is not a bliss anymore, but a curse, he added.
“One of my paintings clearly depicts the state of mankind. In a world where everyone is in a quest of freedom and independency, little do we realise that we are all harnessed by a savage system. This is when we go into a state of complete denial.”
Thoughtless minds graze seats of the entire economy. These people with authority have benefited from this system at large and yet they are greedy for more. There is no humility and realisation of the underprivileged sections of our society. We either see it or do not see it, but blindly believe all that we witness in our day-to-day life.
“I have constantly shown animals in my artwork because it is said that humans have primarily evolved from the same species. We are laced with weapons and ammunition of mutilation, changing and moulding minds and lifestyles. This is the revolution brought by the media where the act of ‘seeing is believing’ has aced all standards.”
Betting on voodoo animals and toys is a part of the fashion. We depend and rely on these falsely claimed supernatural people for our fate. To our dismay, they only guide us towards falsehood. By the day, this scenario is turning into a norm. Today we are played with in this system unlike our childhood days, where we played with toys for fun.
“My recent artwork is a mere depiction of this scenario. These are incidents we witness every day, but fail to take a second to ponder over them. The fact is, believe it or not, we are all being affected by this in one way or another.”
Mustafa said, “Delacroix once wrote, ‘What moves a man of genius, or rather what inspires a man for his work, is not new ideas, but his obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.'”
During the journey of life, we all go through ambiguous phases either within ourselves or in our surroundings; we remember that journey like a dream, details of which become vague with the passage of time, unsure of what happened in the past was actual reality or just our imagination, he added.
“My work is a representation of that dream which I or we are living in, through past and present. Looking through myself, I try to pick the ingredients from my surroundings and construct my own version of reality and narrative, vibrant yet ambiguous.”
As a diasporic artist living in Japan, his works are inspired by the illustrative and linear quality of Japanese art and the narrative style of story presentation in Indian miniature, yet also influenced by abstract expressionism.
“This body of work is narrative and open with a touch of romanticism, leaving space for the viewers’ own interpretation.”
Photos courtesy Canvas Gallery