The art scene in Karachi is thriving. This exciting and vibrant metropolis is a hub of established and modern art galleries like Chawkandi, VM, Art Chowk, Canvas, and Koel - featuring the most fascinating pieces of art by renowned and fresh artists.
Recently opened ‘Funparay’s is a new addition in Karachi’s burgeoning art scene. It is actually an artsy studio that exhibits paintings as well as hand painted furniture, says Nausheen Tariq, owner of ‘Funparay’. Our inauguration was a lovely event.
The studio was inaugurated by Ahmed Shah the President of Arts Council of Paikistan, Karachi. The Counsel General of Thailand, Mr Thatree Chauvachata was the guest of honour. A lot of celebrated artists like Farrukh Shahab, Tanveer Farooqi, Chitra Preetum, Shakil Ismail, Qudsia Nisar, Shahid Rassam, Salman Ahmed, Imran Zaib and many others were present,” she adds.
“Right now we have work of artists from Pakistan only but in future I would like Funparay to be a platform for overseas Pakistani artists to represent their work too,” shares Nausheen. In a candid interview with You! Nausheen talks about in detail regarding her newly inaugurated art space, showcasing beautiful pieces of art and furniture.
You! What made you interested in opening this studio? Why did you choose to name it Funparay?
Nausheen Tariq: I was residing in Jeddah for the last 16 years, being an art lover I was thirsty for artistic and creative things around me. As I planned to move to Karachi, this was the first thing that came to my mind. Plus I have a very clear narrative: I want to make art accessible to everyone who admires it. I want people to learn to appreciate a good painting and be able to buy it too. I want Funparay to be a platform for struggling artist. I chose to name my studio Funparay because what other word would describe these beautiful artefacts better.
You! How many pieces should an artist have before looking at gallery representation? You prefer framed or unframed art pieces?
NT: I don’t think there is a particular number of paintings that is required to be represented at a gallery. Each piece of creation speaks for itself. I personally prefer very simply framed or simply mounted paintings.
You! What should an artist expect from a gallery, marketing and sales wise? And conversely, what does a gallery expect from an artist? Is there a period of time after which you decide to drop a non-selling artist?
NT: Well this relationship of an artist and a gallery is based on mutual symbiosis. Of course the gallery tries its best to market and sell and expects the artists to contribute in the same way.
Dropping an artist, well that is too early for me to answer but I really believe that every painting will have its own admirers it is just a matter of time.
You! Tell us about medium. Oil has traditionally been king of the hill. Do galleries prefer oil? What about more fragile media that have to go behind glass: pastel, coloured pencil, watercolour?
NT: I don’t think galleries as such have a preference, but yes, I have seen art lovers being more inclined towards oil, maybe because of its vibrancy and sturdy, easy to handle nature.
I personally have never been able to choose a favourite between oil and watercolour. I think where oil and acrylic reach out to you; watercolour pulls you towards itself. Have you heard of the saying by Robert Bly, “Wherever there is water there is someone drowning.”
You! Who are your favourite artists? Do you have a dream artist that you would love to represent?
NT: I don’t have a particular favourite one. I like bold and vibrant paintings that are close to nature. Yes, I would be on the seventh sky if Mashkoor Raza agrees to do a solo show at our gallery.
You! When did you decide to keep furniture in your space?
NT: The reason why I did not call my venture a gallery was because I wanted it to be a place for all artsy things to be available under one roof. My idea of paintings on the wall and paintings on the furniture made it very clear that furniture was going to be as important a product at Funparay as a painting. I have very intricately designed and hand painted furniture. The series that I launched at the inauguration was Nature on Wood. So it is a lot of beautifully painted birds and flowers on polished wood. I have used rosewood, oak and teak.
You! What are the latest inclusions in your collection?
NT: The latest inclusion is a trio of beautifully painted, foldable rosewood stools which have become a favourite of people who live abroad but want to carry a little bit of Pakistan with them in their luggage.
You! What is your favourite piece of furniture in your collection?
NT: To me every piece of furniture is an individual sculpture. But yes I can’t keep my eyes off a pair of rosewood side tables that has the most beautiful humming bird relishing away on a bunch of pink flowers.
You! What are the current trends in international market with regard to home furnishing and accessories?
NT: I don’t see a very specific trend. But yes minimalistic approach is becoming a thing.
You! What type of furniture is popular among people these days?
NT: I think as far as furniture is concerned people have become a bit braver in experimenting. I see simple designs and brighter colours being appreciated. Like paintings people have developed a liking for modern and bolder pieces.
You! Are you expensive?
NT: No. If my furniture becomes expensive it will become a novelty, hence, I would be going back on my words of making pretty things available at a reasonable price. And I am not a quitter.
You! Do you think over the years people have become more interested in buying designer furniture?
NT: Yes, I believe it has become a thing to own designer furniture, the way it was once about wearing designer clothes.
You! Any interior tip you would like to share with our readers when it comes to furnishing your home?
NT: Your furniture reflects your personality. It speaks for you. So do not let the interior overshadow you. Own what you love and cherish.
You! Do you think there is a scope for furniture designers in Pakistan?
NT: Oh yes, it is already growing by leaps and bounds. There is beautiful work happening.
You! How is your house decorated?
NT: It is simple with a minimalistic approach. A lot of bright colours here and there.
You! What is the most important advice you can give to women?
NT: I love it when Ellen DeGeneres says, “Be kind to one another”. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that a woman is not capable of achieving when she puts her mind to it. And there is no force bigger than a group of strong women supporting each other.
So please, be kind to each other, grow and help grow.
You! What are your future plans?
NT: Very clear. Grow and help grow. There are artists and artisans in our country who are in dire need of help. And by help I do not mean charity. They need to be heard. We need to come forward and give them an opportunity to be heard. To be celebrated without being too harsh on our own pocket. It is just the matter of our perspective, whether we choose to be selfish and unaffected or we chip in a little to make a difference. I want to make a difference!