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Monday September 26, 2022

Reflecting on price negotiation, intricacies of art market itself

By News Desk
August 08, 2022

The Sanat Initiative is hosting an art exhibition featuring works by Adeel uz Zafar, Meher Afroz, Muhammad Zeeshan, RM Naeem and Scheherezade Junejo. Titled ‘Fixed Price’, the show will run at the gallery until August 11.

‘Fixed Price’, the first exhibition curated by Abid Aziz Merchant, the co-founder of the Sanat Initiative, reflects on his experience of the last eight years running a commercial gallery in Pakistan, and building global networks with artists and collectors.

In an uncertain economic system beset with inflation, devaluation and disrupted flows of capital, the art world is premised on relationships, friendships and trust.

Reflecting on price negotiation and the intricacies of the art market itself, the show investigates on what it may mean to maintain this important node as a constant and important infrastructure of support in the art world.

Adeel uz Zafar

Adeel uz Zafar is an internationally acclaimed artist and art educator. Zafar holds a BFA with distinction from the prestigious National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore. Soon after concluding his studies, Zafar spent time working as an illustrator, an experience that greatly influenced his practice.

The form of his signature work has since evolved to a haunting depiction of monochromatic images, and his fascination with black and white pushes his medium and practice towards newer directions and exploration of a moving image with broader connotations.

Always interested in history, Zafar relates to the modern time and re-contextualises timeline, connoting the credence, countries, conquests and casualties that have occurred to shape social, cultural, religious and political identities as they stand today.

He is currently permanent faculty at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA), Karachi. Zafar has participated in many national and international exhibitions. He has presented his work at international art fairs, festivals and biennales, and participated in both national and international art residencies.

Zafar’s interest of narrating a story that is so heavily seeped in modern history and the acceptance on modern platform to disseminate provoked him to dive into a directorial debut to make an art house abstract slow motion film.

‘The End’ brings out the ugliness and is a grim reminder of how intolerant as a society and nation we have become. It was screened as an official selection of the prestigious UK Asian Film Festival in 2021 and was a nominee for the Satyajit Ray (Ray of Hope) award.

Meher Afroz

Meher Afroz, professor at the IVSAA and a member of the Pakistan Arts Council, Karachi, is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pride of Performance Award by the Government of Pakistan in 2014, and an honourable mention at the 6th Asian Biennale in 1993 in Bangladesh.

Meher graduated with honours in fine arts from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Lucknow, India, in 1971. She has been part of numerous national and international workshops and residencies, including the Studio RM International Residency in 2010; Workshop in Toulouse, France, in 1996; Painter Workshop at Alliance Francaise, Islamabad, in 1995; Painter Workshop at Goethe Institut, Lahore, in 1993; Printmaking Workshop with Walter Crump at American Center, Karachi, in 1993 and Woodcut Techniques Workshop at Kala Institute, San Francisco, USA, in 1991.

Meher’s work has been featured in notable publications like 50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan (1997) by Prof Quddus Mirza, Pioneering Prospective (1998) by Niilofur Farrukh and Image and Identity (1999) by Dr Akbar Naqvi.

Meher has shown her work in several solo and group exhibitions in Pakistan, UK, Sri Lanka, Canada, Iraq, India, Hong Kong, UAE, France, Nepal, USA, Bangladesh, Australia and Italy. She lives and works in Karachi.

Muhammad Zeeshan

Muhammad Zeeshan was born in 1980 in Mirpurkhas, and received his BFA in miniature painting from the NCA in 2003. Zeeshan lives and works in Karachi, and he is currently adjunct faculty of the IVSAA.

The direction he takes with a particular work is heavily determined by the medium in which he is working. However, motifs such as roosters carry across his works and are reminiscent of his time growing up in Pakistan.

Additionally, Zeeshan has stated that his artworks tread the thin boundary between found imagery and originality ascribed to any visual that exists. He has exhibited internationally across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australia, participating in numerous international museum exhibitions.

His recent solo exhibitions include Money Provides, Culture Aspires II, Sanat Initiative (2021); Nangeli, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2021); Money Provides, Culture Aspires, Sanat Initiative (2020); Serving with White Gloves, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Berlin (2019); Art Dubai Solo Project, Sanat Initiative (2018); Refreshment, Sanat Initiative (2017); Contemporary Istanbul, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2017); Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Twitter, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2015); One for the Birds, Gandhara Art Space (2014); Safar Nama, Canvas Gallery (2014) and Special ‘Siri’ Series, Aicon Gallery, New York (2011).

His selected group exhibitions include Pretty Art For Pretty People, Sanat Initiative (2020); All the Days and Nights, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2020); Art Dubai, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2017); Present Re-Inventions, Grosvenor Gallery, London (2014) and Havelian Express, CAIS Gallery, Hong Kong (2010).

His work can be found in private and public collections, including Hundal Collection, Chicago; British Museum, London; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, and was recently acquired by the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California; the Devi Art Foundation, India, and the Walton Family Collection, USA.

His curatorial projects include Mera Safar, Zahoor ul Ikhlaq Gallery, NCA (2020), and the Karachi Biennale 2019 (KB19). He has also participated in numerous art fairs.

RM Naeem

RM Naeem was born in 1968 in Mirpurkhas. In 1993 he graduated from the NCA with a distinction in fine arts. He has been part of the permanent faculty (assistant professor) at his alma mater since 1994. In 2019 he was awarded Associateship of the NCA.

In the past 27 years he has held 18 solo shows in Pakistan and abroad, and curated various shows of local and international artists. Moreover, his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous important group shows.

They include Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2004 and 2006); International Artists’ Biennale, Iran (2006); Pyeongtack International Art Festival, Lake Museum, Korea (2006 and 2007); Art Expo Malaysia (2010); Slick Art Fair Paris, France (2010); Affordable Art Fair Singapore (2011); Affordable Art Fair Melbourne, Australia (2012); India Art Fair, Delhi (2014); Sindh Art Fair, Karachi (2014) and Jaipur Art Summit, India (2014).

Other countries that have shown his work are Thailand, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Hong Kong, China, USA, UK, Germany, Norway and Canada. As a participant in various juried art residences, he has attended 17 art camps and residencies abroad over the course of his career.

He has also conducted various art counselling workshops in Pakistan and abroad. In 2015 he was selected by the Embassy of China to experience Chinese art and culture, as well as to represent and promote Pakistani art and art education in six cities of China.

He represented Pakistan in New York at New Pathways: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, curated by Tanzara Art Gallery, organised by the Pakistan Embassy, United Nations. Since 1994 he has been promoting art through educational activities at his Studio RM.

In 2008 he initiated the Studio RM (International) Residency programme in Lahore. In 2018 he was shortlisted for the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility Staff Teaching Week at Middlesex University, London.

Naeem’s work has garnered several scholarships, awards and prizes in Pakistan, including the Provincial Best Painter Award (1991 and 1992); first prize in the Best Short-Short Film category at Punjab Film Festival (2014), Lahore; Summer Film Festival 2014, Mainz, Germany (shortlisted); Kunsthalle Mainz 2014 (shortlisted); National Award of Excellence (2003) and Sadequain Pride of Performance Award (2021).

His work can be seen in various private and official collections, and has been featured in local and international art publications. Naeem lives and works in Lahore.

Scheherezade Junejo

Scheherezade Junejo was born in 1986 in Karachi. She graduated from the NCA in January 2010 with a BFA (Honours) degree. She has six solo exhibitions to her credit, and she has participated in over 50 group shows nationally and internationally since June 2010.

The most notable shows in which she has taken part are ArtDom Part 2, Sergelgatans Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (November 2021); Oscar Studio & Galleri, Oslo, Norway (October 2021); Grand Hotel, Oslo (September 2021); Sanat Initiative (January 2021); Noah’s Ark, KB19 (October 2019); Focus On: Pakistan, Le Dame Art Gallery, London Art Rooms, London (January 2018); Chiaroscuro, AnYahh Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (November 2017); Venice Biennale, Imago Mundi Project booth, Italy (2017); Moniker Art Fair, Old Truman Brewery, London (October 2016); Mirrors of the Artosphere, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York, USA (August 2016); Art Expressions, Capital Club, DIFC, Dubai (June 2016); Art Basel, Miami, USA (December 2015); Pakistan Art Today, Lalit Hotel, New Delhi (October 2014) and Affordable Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Museum, Melbourne (May 2012).

She was featured in the first edition of Current Masters, a publication of contemporary artists by World Wide Art Books, in 2015. She was also awarded 10 Best Works at the Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore, in April 2011, and was nominated for the Sovereign Asian Art Award in 2020.

Scheherezade has contributed her works to several fundraisers, charities and auctions for causes such as Art For Education, Covid-19 Relief and Special Olympics Pakistan. She designed customised sculptural pieces for the Fall Cabaret Collection by Monsieur Fox in July 2013.

She has taught PYP, MYP and O levels Art at Lecole for Advanced Studies (2010 to 2012). She is an adjunct faculty member at the IVSAA, where she has been teaching drawing and painting since 2013. She also curates exhibitions for the Full Circle Gallery.

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