- Posted on: April 03, 2014 | Comments
We do need “reinforcements” in life, don’t we? There is often a need to reinforce our beliefs in ourselves, in others, in nature and in recognizing that vital connection with the creative energy of the universe, which many believe to be a manifestation of God.
The exhibition at Khaas Gallery, “Reinforcement”, showcasing the works of Babur Gull and Samar Zia, which opened on Tuesday, is an attempt at “reinforcing” beliefs.
Babur Gull adamantly persists that his works are not making any political or social statements. “My art work is about my feelings,” he says. Babur, who is currently in the process of completing his MA in visual arts from NCA, Lahore, has tried to bring forth the inside mental states and confusion on the canvases using acrylic.
His work, “Who’s Afraid of Red”, at first glance seems unengaging, but then that’s the impact, perhaps, intended by the artist. There are situations, as Gull says, which are there and require your attention, and you have an option to delve in to them or just ignore.
Pieces like “Hatchet”, “Between Red and Blue” and “Split” bring in the concept of confusion or the reluctance of the mind to take a particular road. “Foresight” is an attempt to display that over thinking about a matter brings one to a point where man decides to let it be and takes a free fall, leaving himself in abeyance, at the hands of the fate. Is Gull hinting at the limitations of man’s rational capabilities?
The works of Samar Zia, appreciate man’s cognitive capabilities but primarily due to its continuous ability to explore the wonders of God, and that too, in particular, found in a human body. The first impression one gets after looking at Samar’s artwork is that perhaps she has a medical background. The organs of a human body, especially lungs and kidneys have been drawn to precision, which hints at the extent of the effort put in, in terms of time and research.
“The work is really personal to me,” says Samar, since it was her mother’s surgeries that brought her attention to the world of intricacies existing within us; not only the metaphorical ones but the quite literal ones as well.
“It was my raw encounter with the universe at such an intimate level that increased my contact with God,” says Samar. The text which appears next to her art “reinforces” the fact that encapsulating God’s marvelous creation often requires the use of more than one medium; what visual display cannot capture, words can and vice versa.
Using materials such as gauze and surgical tapes, Samar has given a slightly poignant feel to her pieces. While man desperately wrestles to fight disease and affliction with better means and technology, there still remains his vulnerability in front of the Creator. Her pieces “Zipped” and then “Unzipped”, perhaps, point to the inevitable effects which come when man tries to cure. Samar, obviously appreciates the extent to which medical science has helped improve lives but she also recognizes that there are, perhaps, limits to it as well.
Man’s pursuit for the “most refined gene”, in which he, according to Samar, is trying to tamper with God’s natural creation, might have huge negative impact. The time in the British Library, researching material for her pieces made her come across Francis Fukuyama’s “Our Posthuman Future”, which argues that genetic engineering applied for bringing in particular traits in children is in eventuality a bad idea. Samar therefore, perhaps, advocates for man to capitulate on some of the aspects of science, since the consequences can be more drastic than are presently assumed.
The exhibition runs on till the 12th of April.
(January 19, 2017)
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