‘Nine Lives’ on display at Khaas Art

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Nine budding and promising artists from the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi, put up a stunning contemporary exhibition of paintings and artefacts, showcasing diverse complexities found in the society from religio-political to socio-economic affairs that haunt and tease the common mass.
The fresh graduates, Aaiza Alam, Ailya Moosvi, Cyra Ali, Samina Halai, Sammer Sultan, Tuba Zaki, Zain Asher, Mariam Maqsood and Shayaan Meer, used various mediums in a collective cache of 22 art pieces.
The artists have conceived new themes and subjects, making use of high-grade colorant, additives, fabric, sponge, and tissue paper, to create a gamut of impeccable quality at the Khaas Art Gallery in a group exhibition titled ‘Nine Lives-2012”, opened for public on Wednesday. Talking to Pakistan Today, Aaiza Alam, while explaining her work, read out slogans to describe the art, “Mazhab kay jo byopairi hain, woh sab se baree bemaari hain, In jhute or makkaron se, mahzab kay thekedaron say, mein baaghi hoon, mein baaghi hoon.” (The traders of religion are the worst disease; I rebel against these liars and hypocrites.)
“The current work is an exploration of my religious identity. Trapped in a pool of chaotic worshippers, the celestial being only grows further and further away as I find my comprehension entrapped deeper in the material.” Ailya Moosvi, in a series of three painting with charcoal, tried to explore her inner conscious that has lost somewhere within her.
“Exploring the inner self leads me into spaces, which are yet to be discovered. Spaces of the familiar and the unknown make me question my identity. An identity that finds residence in this land of the unknown,” she concluded briefly.
Talking about her collection titled ‘Specimen 8 and 9’, Cyra Ali highlights the lust of man towards woman in which she manufactured creative pieces like of ‘Spiderman’, but they actually reflects the exploitation in a male-dominated society.
Cyra said, “Many conventions of femininity and tradition are based on patriarchy’s desire to tame the women and repress their sexuality. My work engages in questioning such notions. I celebrate and I mourn through it. I tell stories about people, addressing the inner conflict we all face about who we are, who we yearn to be, who we pretend to be and who we become,” she said in somber mode. Samina Halai says, “Every place dictates its own sanctity and one follows these to adopt a certain individual character. My work revolves around a playful commentary of an exploration that I observe in and around my environment. “Interestingly for me, acknowledging these casual occurrences form one’s identity,” she added.
An interesting art piece from Sammer Sultan titled ‘Tears’ comprised a collection of tissue papers, that according to him, reflects love and lost as to her it is better to have love and lost than not to have at all. “This work revolves around the idea of love and loss. It’s an homage to letting go of something that was dear to you. It is a homage to the pain they cause you,” he elaborated.
Tuba Zaki through her work showcases complexities of an individual of this society who is suffering with a number of socio-economic problems. “My work explores the relation between obligation to destroy and compulsion to mend. I juxtapose variety of kitchen utensils that shows aggression such as drained, scratches with painstaking and overwhelming pressure in a very subtle manner,” she said.Talking about the theme of her works, Tuba said, “The work scrambles expressions of disturbance and stability through the use of mundane because of ineffectiveness of individuality in life. Firmness shown over the style in visual representation is an examination of open feelings of despair yet closed thoughts to repair,” she explained.