Students use waste to depict Pakistan’s problems

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Trash produced by a person is another’s craft material. All around us, there is scrap of different material that we ignore, but the students of Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts are an exemption, as they use recycled material to make innovative art installations. The students of Bachelors of Arts in Interior, Graphics, and Fashion Designing on Wednesday put on display a number of installations with unique and novel ideas and themes as part of their graduate class assignments. The exhibition included displays from interior, graphics and fashion design departments. Its major highlights include instillations made from recycled materials, portraying the prevailing conditions in the country. The exhibition also included works featuring textured handbooks, hand bags and designs for better use of living space, according to the surrounding ambiences.
With the social issues like the menace of corruption, child labour, globalisation, misuse of communication and disunity being faced by the society, students disseminated the message that lead towards the logical ends. As one enters the main gallery of Hunerkada, Akhtar Iqbal’s robot like installation ‘How much more till its enough’ gives you an idea of a crooked politician who keeps on ruling the hearts and minds of common masses, while they (commoners) do not pay heed to do appropriate action against this wicked character. Talking to Pakistan Today, Akhtar said since the corruption had penetrated deep into the social fabric of society, he opted to work against the practice. “My choice of the topic is corruption. I want to display my topic using a wooden planks nailed together. The structure represents a corrupt man. The feature of his body displays how corruption shapes him. He has a small head that shows he has limited intellect and small boundaries,” the young artist said.
Pointing towards his bulging belly, he said it showed how did he accumulated more than enough to suffice his needs, while large hands were a symbol of his greed and that he was always looking to obtain more. “The installation is to be constructed using recycled material. I intend to make the body frame with spare wooden planks to form a tall body figure. The belly is comprised of a jute sack, rolled to form a circular shape which is fit into the frame,” he added. According to Akhtar, he has given the body depth and width by taping used plastic bottles on to the frame. The face is made out of plaster of Paris bandages. “The lungs are indicated by using old X-ray sheets. The entire body attire is made out of Styrofoam, mattress/cushions foam, newspapers, building wire and cartons,” he said.
Rafia (a first year student), while highlighting the plight of child labour, questioned about the positive and negative aspects of globalisation, as the world has shrunk to a global village but the miseries of people are stretched.
Talking about ‘Globalisation’, she says it is refers to the global trade in products and technology. “Though, companies make profit, jobs are created in other countries, through better communication. Products with latest technology can be traded worldwide, but these companies are manipulating and lie about the products. The workers do not earn enough but have to work for 14 hours a day. There are also immigration problems, pollution, and population growth.” Rafia explained. She says the spider in his installation has woven the web to connect the people around the globe, but the earning of labourers is reduced. “Omar from Pakistan is forced to stitch footballs for their company. He often injures himself at work, but he earns only US$ 854 a year,” Rafia explains. Faizan Mughal with the theme ‘United we stand, divided we fall’ tries to reunite the Pakistanis. “The nation that was liberated in 1947 by the Muslims on Islamic Ideology has been lost in turbulent times as we are divided on sectarian and provincial lines,” he said. “In this installation, I have tried to demonstrate present situation of Pakistan through placing the pieces of glass on a 5X5 canvas painted in black to highlight dark side of today’s dilemma,” he said.