White Wash: an artistic critique of neo-colonialism opens


Highlighting the multiple complexities of global ideology in the context of neo-colonialism and aggressive capitalisation of the world, Amin Rehman, a Canada-based Pakistani artist unveiled his work on Monday here at the Rohtas Gallery.
His art collection is titled as “White Wash: Art in the Age of neo-Colonialism”.
Rehman, a resident of Toronto, through his 24 contemporary art pieces in mixed media on board and encaustic on board, not only highlights the sharp disparity in the lives of common people across the globe, he also investigates and questions the world phenomena—violence, conflicts and war.
Ross Hynes, the high commissioner of Canada, inaugurated the exhibition that was well-attended by art lovers Islooiite, diplomats, embassy officials and artists. ‘Whit Wash’ is dedicated to Faiz Ahmed Faiz – one of the finest Urdu revolutionary poets— as a tribute to the legend as Pakistani government is celebrating the centenary celebrations of Faiz.
Using encaustic, acrylic, and neon texts, Amin Rehman’s paintings are based on the current and historical print media and rely on his past interest in the power of language and textual expression to alter personal ideologies through language translation.
Talking to Pakistan Today, the Lahore born Amin said, “Through my art practice, I explore and critique the effects of globalisation in the world today. Using mediums such as vinyl, neon lights and photography, I investigate themes such as violence, conflict, war, and the environment to highlight the complexities of such issues in the context of aggressive globalization,” he said.
The artist who works and lives in Toronto said his work examined the discontents of current globalisation and the ways in which it jeopardized the wellbeing and livelihoods’ of million of people who were unable to benefit from its hyper-capitalist economic, social and political values. Amin said that by using such concepts as the basis of his work, he hoped to depict not only a natural progression of his past explorations but also to reveal a leap of creative and material synthesis.
“Through this process, I continue to depict and emphasize how global networks inform the how communities engage and deal with the everyday lives of people, the artist maintained,” he added.
In majority of his art works, Amin uses Quranic verses and Faiz’s poetry to give the universal message of love, peace and brotherhood.
“It provides an opportunity to rethink my own cultural past and present interest in the phraseology of neo-colonialism and globalization, while not losing sight of the central question, ‘Why does the geo-political situation of Afghanistan-Pakistan border matter?’” he observed.
Amin said adding his work was suggestive of graphic and informational strategies reused in American pop art of the 1960s.
Amin Rehman is a multidisciplinary artist who has been working since the 1980s. Originally from Pakistan, Rehman has studied at the National College of Arts (Lahore), the University of Punjab (Lahore), and the University of Manchester (UK).
He has exhibited extensively in a number of exhibitions and festivals across Canada and abroad, notably the Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto), National Art Gallery (Islamabad), Rush Arts Gallery (New York), and University of Technology (Sydney). Rehman’s interest in these issues primarily draws from his experience of living in Pakistan and Canada. The exhibition will continue at The Rohtas Gallery, House No. 57-B, Street No. 26, F-6/2, till October 21.