Realistic simplicities


Several photographers have a tilt towards capturing the real, gritty scenarios of life. From the melancholic aura of a homeless person being captured in his most profound moment, down to darkness within the depths of nature itself, that photographer is never tired of expressing the cynical layers of the hardcore life.
Malik Ayaz’s photographs, a display of which opened on Tuesday, June 13, encompassed nothing but brightness, and vividness, both of which are perhaps elements needed to show the most beautiful of landscapes in pictures.
Not that Malik does not have an eye for the more profound of moments or scenes, but the fact that he does not dwell on the dark side of life is a fresh change for photography lovers. There are times when art lovers would like to see something else besides the complex analysis of surroundings, or a cosmetic love of the artist for the beauty that surrounds him or her. In Malik there is a simple artist who takes pictures for the love of taking pictures and who knows how to wonderfully compose pictures and to brilliantly frame scenes within the lens of his camera.
In his exhibition, most photos were those which showed the flamboyant landscapes all over the country. Malik, like all photographers, is a traveler who seemingly loves to explore new or old places, and to capture them in his own version on camera. His photos include greenery, such as the awe inspiring Attock Khurd Railways, where mountains frame the backdrop of the picture in a hazy grayish sketch, while the overwhelming greenery of the fields here dominate the scene. In the middle of the picture, which has been most aptly composed, the train tracks run towards the horizon, crossing each other, taking the viewer’s eyes towards the far end of the picture, leaving the rest to imagination. A red thatched roof colonial built Railway Station is seen on one side of the tracks.
A glamorous view of the Faisal Mosque from one of the Margala Hill peaks, also manages to grab attention. This view is perhaps the most magnificent of the nationally famous mosque symbolizing the city of Islamabad. Standing at some point of the Margalla Hills, Malik has not only grabbed a very different version of the mosque, he has also managed to play with light and have capture the gleaming roads curling in spirals, leading downwards to the mosque.
Then there is the famous Hiran Minar, resurrected after Emperor Jehangir, an avid hunter who shot and killed his pet deer by mistake. He later built this in memory of his favorite pet whose death he grieved, and afterwards banned all hunting from this area. The beautiful sunset at the Hiran Minar snatches away all attention of the viewer from anywhere else. The minaret in the background, tall and strong traces the eye to the sky which appears to be ripped open, red sunlight seeping out of the tear. Below this light is the rest of the building, ‘floating’ it seems on water, its reflection on the surface.
Malik also has an eye for peeking through the holes and cracks and capturing what he sees there. A wonderful picture of an unknown location is framed through a hole in a broken down wooden panel, which someone has made a hole in for some reason. The splinters surrounding the hole are intriguing, and beyond the hole, are some fir trees, growing in layers on the mountain, with mist hanging about them.
In another picture, he uses the same technique to picture the Hiran Minar. This is through the jharoka of a building built opposite. He also loves to use the technique of picturing buildings from below, such as one or two he has displayed taken in the Old City of Lahore. Taken from right below the small balcony, Malik has captured the face of a smiling child who looks down straight into the camera. In one or two other photos too Malik has captured the building from below, to show the strong dominant impact the architectural monuments have had upon him, giving an overwhelming feeling of the building to the viewer.
In all, Malik’s photographs are worth seeing displayed at the Al Hamra Gallery. The exhibition is a fresh new perception from the eyes of a man who sees life simply yet beautifully, with its enchantments and the smallest moments and scenes that could bring some relief to the eyes, and the artistic soul. The exhibition will continue until June 18 from 9 am to 6 pm everyday.


  1. splendid review……….especially the first line explains all his work….. “Malik is honest with what he sees”. Malik’s work is really worth seeing…

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