Wednesday November 29, 2023

Somewhere we belong — six artists exhibit work exploring sense of ownership

June 29, 2016


Humans often spend most of their lives searching for a sense of belonging as they try to find signs indicative to their own thoughts and emotions, and perhaps this is why Sanat Initiative chose to curate exhibition ‘What belongs to you’ on the account of its second anniversary.

The six exhibiting artists namely Ammar Faiz, Farhat Ali, Madyha Leghari, Naira Mushtaq, Sajid Khan and Zoya Siddiqui displayed their work ranging from miniatures to collages and photographs, all posing the question about ownership.

Explaining the idea behind this exhibit, curator Aziz Sohail said that the different pieces delved into how art converses with the beholder: “It’s basically a three-way dialogue belonging to the artist, curator and most importantly, the audience.”

Bridging two levels of understanding, apparent versus the deeper, the art was full of symbolism and explored everyday sights in city that often go unnoticed by the dwellers. One of the miniature works showed a closed shutter with a famous paint brand written neatly across it but the iron shutter was juxtaposed with the cardboard one. To enhance its originality, locks were also placed on certain points making the shutter seem as real as possible.

“The artists have portrayed diverse art forms and their attempt to make contact with the ordinary individual is to be marveled upon,” shared Zain Wahlan, a visitor at the exhibit.

However it appeared that ordinary observations weren’t the only aspect which evoked a sense of belonging rather the corners in the city ignored by many were also given a room. Given that Sindh is the land of sufis and Karachi itself is home to the shrines of many mystics, one of the artists displayed this diversity by combining photographs of small tombs, relatively unknown to the people. “The prime thought behind portraying such shrines was to deliver the wholesome essence of the Sufism and its connection with the people on the grass roots level,” explained Sohail.      

Shifting the focus to the popular culture, one of the artists, Ammar Faiz had made a magazine collage by using film posters as its base: “I have deliberately used film posters because in our region cinema has its own cult following and has a scared place for aficionados,” he said. Faiz had been collecting posters since the last two years by reaching out to different people and then gave his own expression to make them distinct.  It seemed that the corners of the frames were left untouched to illustrate the vastness of human connections.

The exhibition continues till July 14.