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TAKING SIDES- ART NOW

Five emerging artists showcased their work at Canvas Gallery in an exhibition with the enigmatic title Five Sides of a Square. Amna Suheyl, Ghazi Sikander Mirza, Kiran Waseem, Sana Saeed and Zahra Ehsan are all graduates of The National College of Arts, Lahore. This show was curated by Quddus Mirza who himself has a long affiliation with the College.

 In his curatorial statement, Quddus Mirza explains the poetic license taken with the fundamental properties of the square, as a metaphor that conveys the engagement of the artists with the complexities of society, an engagement in which “reality: objective, physical, personal, private, imaginary – residing in memory and recollection – is captured, using like a world that is round, but often represented within like a square.”

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CAPTURING THE REALITY OF A COMPLEX SOCIETY

Like books in the age of the Internet, the art of painting and the practice of printmaking will remain valid in the era of electronic production as well as the reproduction of art. At one point, the difference of genres and distinction of forms cease to remain as important as the meaning conveyed through those formats.
With these ideas in mind, the Canvas Gallery launched a five-person art exhibition, titled ‘Five Sides of a Square’, last week. The show is curated by art critic and educator Quddus Mirza, and features works by Amna Suheyl, Ghazi Sikander Mirza, Kiran Waseem, Sana Saeed and Zahrah Ehsan.

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10 INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS THAT PROVE PAKISTANI ARTISTS ARE AWESOME

Ghazi Sikander Mirza is a Lahore based visual artist. Ghazi graduated from National College of arts in 2016. Ghazi Sikander Mirza’s work deals with his daily strife and his regular confrontation with traffic whilst driving across the city, mainly viewing vehicles from the back, with a special focus on Qingqi rickshaws of Lahore. “When confronted, it is as though a wall of people is being followed, but as soon as one becomes conscious of this relationship, it alters, and the travelling people become passengers of the same journey,” he says. He works with pictures taken from different vantage points on a street and draws them in separate compositions. The materials he uses vary from charcoal to paint to ink

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HOW CITIES AND URBANIZATION HAVE BECOME FAVORED SUBJECTS FOR ARTISTIC EXPRESSION IN PAKISTAN

Art has always been a reliable means of archiving change. Consciously or inadvertently, artists document sociocultural changes, not only through the work itself but also by absorbing into their artistic vocabularies the new visual materials that accompany any major shift from one way of living to another. This is mainly because the process of artistic creation is invariably organic. It is affected by the environment, the sights, the smells, and the sounds that surround an artist.

Even if an artist’s work is deeply embedded in fantasies and dreamscapes, fragments from their contemporaneous, real-life will find their way into their work, just as they will into their fantasies and dreams. I am reminded of the image of the portentous train in so many of Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico’s paintings. Moving slowly and emitting a single, robust plume of smoke, his black train serves as an eerie backdrop for empty arcades and other disparate objects that seem to come together in his work largely through dream logic. No matter how far the artist strays into a surreal world of statues and late-afternoon shadows, an engine and a few compartments pursue him as a reminder of the real world marked by technology.