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Monday January 30, 2023

The mastery of invoking many an interpretation Amin Gulgee’s exhibition ‘Washed upon the Shore’ kicks off at Canvas Gallery

By our correspondents
December 29, 2015

Karachi

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the light on broken glasses” – Anton Chekhov

Suspended from the ceiling defying their immense weight, two moons face each other, shining glamorously as the light catches the coloured glass and copper of which they are fashioned, however the beauty of the work lies on its conclave side, which is arguably as beautiful in its intricacy and impact as the front.

But maestro sculptor Amin Gulgee is not done yet. There is a third moon, a darker one that represents a sinister side, not within the dialogue of the other two but acting almost as witness to them.

The new series of works, presented in the exhibition, “Washed upon the Shore”, was unique in its nature, where the artist showed his brilliance by producing pieces manifesting a mysterious sentient presence, which could be at best felt than explained.

It is said that the beauty lies in the eye of beholder and the art viewers have the right to hold subjective interpretations which can be contrary to the artist’s perception.

As Gulgee extravagantly put it, “The viewers can have their own interpretations of my art. I have nothing to say on it and leave it open to them.”

It was not only his art, but the art performances at the exhibition too were just as captivating.

In one corner, a shirtless man was being painted by a young man. In a room, a woman was slowly rolling and shifting through a pile of coal. Outside the gallery, a man was combing out lice from a woman’s hair. What is the connecting thought behind these portrayals?

Is it a showcase of our society - the excruciating pain of a woman in her surroundings that are reflected through the heap of coal, the surreal romance involving lice and the colours depicting the imposition of one’s views and beliefs on the gullible other.

The interpretations may vary from person to person, but surely it was a deliberate effort from Gulgee to instigate thought for seeking a connection between the diverse representations of ideas, beautifully executed by the actors.

Huma Tassawur, a viewer, noted it was an innovative expression of ideas that expanded the scope of theatre.

For Shireen, an art student, it was the use of copper and glass on the art pieces that had left her amazed. “The innovative technique of presenting the thought is a completely new experience,” she added.

Art enthusiasts can experience Guljee’s mastery till Dec 21 at the Canvas Gallery.

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