It would be injustice to contemporary art to say that it serves only as a mirror that reflects the state of the society— because there is so much more to it: Not only does it illustrate the current picture of the society and world, it also often serves to revolutionize the way people think about the society, culture, and everything else that matters; it offers a different point of view for us to look at and ponder upon; and with a fresh perspectives it shatters our preconceived notions about things.
A part of the art scene in February has also been about changing mindsets. Love Letters by the phenomenal Mohsin Shafi opened on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Featuring 14 artists, the show gave new life to the beautiful and, unfortunately, almost forgotten art of letter writing, drawing a contrast between the expression of love in today’s age and the past.
Therapy Through Art by FOMMA and Karwan-e-Hayat (KeH) celebrated the wonderful minds of recovering mental patients at KeH by displaying their artwork from the 15th to 28th of February; Curated by Noreen Ali, the exhibition showed how proper care and encouragement paired with art can nourish the patients’ minds and help them channel their energies into creative activities instead of negative ones.
The theme of this issue is Copyright. The discussions and case studies in the issue will offer lots of food for thought regarding the subject of copyrights; they will also make you think twice, or more, about everything around you that is in some way or the other replicated, duplicated, or copied.
ArtNow has always aimed and strived to encourage artists— both renowned and emerging— and to help them and their works grow. It gives me immense pleasure to share with you all that this year the Imran Mir Art Award is won by Jovita Alvares, a young graduate from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture and of course, an aspiring artist with a long way ahead of her. Imran Mir was passionate about art and design. He believed in excelling in whatever discipline one is interested in, and his foundation seeks to promote emerging, promising Pakistani artists, especially young ones. In the first cycle, which was last year, the award was won by Noreen Ali, another Indus Valley graduate and an emerging artist.
It is also delightful to see Sanat Initiative continuing their commendable work for the artists of today, ensuring to keep the art scene alive. Their Residency Programme enables visiting artists to develop projects that help broaden their horizons; The 4th Sanat Residency was held in Karachi from February 18th to 28th, hosting as residents the artists Ahmed Javed, Arslan Farooqi, Haider Ali, Jovita Alvares, Noman Siddiqui, Qadir Jhatial and Razin Rubin. The artists also opened their collaborative show yesterday, called Dil Toh Pagal Hai, which we shall be covering in our next issue.
On the 23rd of February, Saba Khan held her show called How Not To Be Small at Rohtas II, Lahore. Through vibrant, popular images, Khan raised questions on identity, power, and public taste, illustrating the general public’s attitude towards religion and their perpetual thirst for better standards of living.
A group show worth mentioning is Eleven 11 by Art Chowk, which began on January 17th, 2017. Including eleven Karachi-based artists, the show was all about the art professionals living and working in the city of lights, Karachi. Featuring diverse art mediums including painting, fibre arts, sculpture, paper, marble, metal, mixed media, installation work and more, the show was a sequel to Art Chowk’s exhibition held back in May 2012, called ‘movement’ with the same group of artists.
Another group show, which also featured eleven artists, was Taqseem curated by Zarmeene to mark Koel’s 8th anniversary. Rich with history and nostalgia, it was not merely an exhibition of artworks, as there was also a talk where the artists discussed their perceptions of partition and its influence of them.
To touch on the international art scene a little, I must mention that the eleventh edition of the international art fair, Art Dubai is also set to take place from March 15th to 18th, 2017. Featuring 93 galleries from 43 countries, Art Dubai 2017 will provide the audience a platform to discover new artists, galleries and emerging art trends spanning across the globe from Sao Paulo to Melbourne, including the largest exhibition of contemporary art from the region.
I look forward to witnessing and experiencing the upcoming events and offer readers more interesting discourse on the happenings in the sphere of art.
Bye for NOW!