KARACHI: Karachiites enjoyed a group exhibition at Ocean Art Galleries including artworks by artists Abrar Ahmed, A Q Arif, Chitra Pritam, Moazzam Ali, Muhammad Arshad and Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi.
After a long time I went through these artists' works. All of them have done the same style of work over the years except Moazzam Ali. I found his compositions a bit changed. Through his paintings, he demonstrated that he can mould his paintings as he pleases by using elements such as textures, lines, shapes, light and colours at the same time maintaining the transparency of the water colour medium.
Moazzam Ali, inspired by the beauty of Indus valley civilization, focused on this theme in his paintings to highlight the civilization’s significance. His gestural strokes composed delightful textures with flesh and fabric to capture the inner essence of the female figure draped in beautiful flowing garments of sharp tones looking like flowers blooming in a desert full of sand and hot winds. His paintings depict Thari women with a pitcher. The unique features of Thari women with attractive colourful dresses and bangles covered hands up to the shoulders.
Abrar Ahmed’s paintings reflected his artistic expressions presented in a variety of emotions, representations and themes that are explored during the lifetime of a woman. The series of figures show sequences echoing stories within the paintings. He portrayed the feminine form surrounded in various colours using shades of black, grey with white to glamorize the simplicity of human body structure against a colourful background.
A Q Arif artworks depicted peace and tranquility. He used calligraphy in the foreground of some paintings and also added a touch of fantasy to some of his paintings by using images of bright full moon, clouds, mist and autumn leaves. His choice of structures usually limit to famous buildings from the Mughal Empire, shrines of famous Aulia or even newer structures that show inspiration from the Mughal time period. The artworks were filled with hues of blue, brown, red and yellow. Colour serves as a basic element and enhance the texture of symbolic patterns.
Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi explored Punjab landscape through his paintings giving detailed descriptions of rural life and the city of Lahore in his traditional cityscapes. His imagery was peaceful and silent. The hazy and foggy atmosphere created with the delicacy of light and shade gives viewers the time at that moment frozen in the misty painting. Capturing the serene moments at dawn and dusk in oils the paintings depicted mist of the morning and the bright sunlight of the hot noon which completely grip viewer’s attention.
In a pleasant contrast shades of greens, yellow, red and earth tones Muhammad Arshad explored the beauty of a forest. Capturing nature’s beauty on canvas was his way of appreciating nature. His work showed the transformation of Changa-Manga forest in winter. He got fascinated by the colours of leaves that changes from bright green to yellow, red and brown, giving a very colourful and attractive look to the forest environment.
Chitra Pritam’s paintings depicted the countryside as the reflection of Nature, which leave a soothing effect. His pen and ink calligraphic patterns were eye-catching and beautiful revealing his control over the images. The compositions of his Buddha paintings showed his inspiration by the life and teachings of the Buddha.