Ornamental Expressions

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Ornamental Expressions

In the recent exhibition of Abid Aslam at Sanat Gallery, he displayed an array of new work produced during his time spent at Can Serrat, Spain. In

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In the recent exhibition of Abid Aslam at Sanat Gallery, he displayed an array of new work produced during his time spent at Can Serrat, Spain.

In the context of art, the terms “embellishment” and “decoration” refer to distinct concepts, although they may sometimes overlap. John Dewey, an American pragmatist philosopher who also wrote extensively on the subject of art, emphasized the importance of experience and the interaction between an individual and their environment. Dewey believed that art should be seen as a form of communication and expression, enabling individuals to engage with their surroundings in meaningful ways.

Embellishment in art refers to the act of enhancing or enriching an artwork through the addition of details, ornamentation, or elaborate elements. These additions serve to emphasize certain aspects of the artwork, add complexity, or convey a particular aesthetic quality. Embellishments can include intricate patterns, decorative motifs, or additional elements that contribute to the overall visual appeal or symbolic meaning of the artwork.

On the other hand, decoration in art involves the use of visual elements to adorn or enhance an object or surface without necessarily adding significant meaning or depth to the artwork. Decorative elements are primarily intended to beautify or enhance the aesthetic appeal of an object or space. While decoration can contribute to the overall visual impact of a work, it is often considered as subordinate to the main artistic intention or concept.

It is important to note that Dewey focused on the experiential aspect of art rather than discussing specific artists or their works in detail. However, his ideas can help us understand the distinction between embellishment and decoration in art. For Dewey, genuine art goes beyond superficial adornment and engages the viewer on a deeper level, evoking emotional responses and offering new perspectives. In Dewey’s view, an artwork that solely focuses on embellishment and neglects the experiential aspect may lack the depth and significance that art can offer. He was an advocate for art that is rooted in human experiences and has the power to engage individuals intellectually and emotionally.

Regarding Abid Aslams’ works, they are technically combinations of non-canonical materials, including gels and perforated grounds. The curatorial statement highlights that contemporary miniature practice has always been part of Abid’s interest, not only in terms of old traditional art but also rich cultural history. His works depict tales from the Mughal era, showcasing the ruling kings, their activities, memorable events, and affection towards their people and loved ones.

In recent philosophy of history, there is a major focus on studying history, the historical, and the nature of events. This involves considering various methodologies, including scientific approaches and contextualized methods that depend on human action, economics, politics, and geography. Writers such as Paul Ricoeur, influenced by several theorists of interpretation, discuss events, eras, epochs, timeframes, and the significance of the distance in time itself, all of which constitute the past, present, and future.

As observed, Abid Aslams’ constructions reflect a great deal of effort and commitment, showcasing a particular link to the artist’s host culture and its connection to Spanish mores and manners, either by locale or through comparison. Given Spain’s history as an Arab dominium and the exchange of cultural components, there are indications of absorption, reflection, or synthesis in the manufacturing of the fabric-like structures. In essence, the artist has taken the opportunity to produce a viable thesis involving a diverse set of parameters. Moreover, Mughal history itself is a highly contested cultural territory, perhaps due to its political and cultural projection over the years.

Considering the transfer of techniques from illumination and miniaturization into contemporary art, it becomes a subject of healthy debate and discussion. This appropriation can serve as material for a narrative that encompasses value, context, and narrative, and it can also create a dialogue on embellishment and the decorative arts in Pakistan. The second possibility finds support in popularly held beliefs and claims regarding the evolution of means of expression and freedom in art. This ethos becomes a wide and constructive discourse, generating excitement in discovery while accomplishing the power to engage individuals intellectually and emotionally.


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