Tuesday December 05, 2023

‘Dialogue with Karachi’ explores similarities in humans across cultures

August 29, 2016


In an expression of cultural and artistic engagement, the Full Circle gallery opened the space for an exclusive collection of US based artist, Riaz Khan’s, photographs titled ‘A Dialogue With Karachi’.

Humanity is diverse in its very own nature, and so are the cultures complementing it. To demonstrate that variety of traditions Khan chose photography as his medium.

“The morality of cultures and their decency are the two prominent things of his work,” opined a visitor at the gallery.

In the words of motivational speaker Wayne Dyer, “Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery.” Khan’s work is, indeed, a clear interpretation of this approach.

Regardless of locality and habitat, humans more or less possess similar behavioural patterns, in the sense that we all are part of our own race, but are bound by contrasting norms and values which serve as a source of hindrance, sometimes in communication and sometimes in mental growth.

“He has shown a fixed impression of human nature in different cultures,” said Maham Obaid, an art enthusiast visiting the gallery. 

A major part of Khan’s work illustrates the innate urge of humans to cheer and celebrate with little sense of melancholy.

One of his images, portraying hands of unequal size in air, explains the gesture of being made to ‘wait’. The barriers around us indeed develop a sense of having to wait for one’s turn, but also simultaneously pokes at the realisation of the precious time wasted while waiting.

Instead of being encouraged to explore, humans are told to limit themselves within defined parameters.

“Photography has given me the opportunity to explore cultures, sub-cultures and get a better understanding of my place in the world,” Khan observed.

Another piece displaying two wrestlers in a ring, gives off the cruel but real essence of human equation. The notion of ‘survival of the fittest’ is entrenched in the minds of every individual consequently signalling it to be cautious at every step of the way.

While comparing different cultures Khan has shown that on average every culture works on the same arrangement of rules and regulations.

A visitor, Abdul Hakeem, felt that, “His point of view of observing things is different than how others in the world perceive them.”

“As a kid growing up in Karachi, I was restless; curious about worlds and cultures beyond my own,” said Khan, adding, but the gradual yet impactful bombardment of technology and information on us has dented our critical thinking.