Rumours of Spring

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Rumours of Spring

G N Qazi and Qasim Bugti Illuminate Contemporary and Modernism in Two-Person Show at Art Chowk Gallery, Karachi. Recently, I had the privilege of

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G N Qazi and Qasim Bugti Illuminate Contemporary and Modernism in Two-Person Show at Art Chowk Gallery, Karachi.

Recently, I had the privilege of visiting Art Chowk Gallery for their two-person exhibition titled “Rumours of Spring,” featuring the works of Ghulam Nabi Qazi and Qasim Bugti. The showcase presented an assortment of paintings that reflected their distinct thought processes.

Let’s begin with GN Qazi’s work, which deviated from his signature architectural style and embraced a more contemporary approach. By “contemporary,” I am referring to a modern aesthetic, rather than suggesting that his previous works were outdated and his recent pieces are more current. Qazi’s recent creations exhibited a touch of modernism.

In this series, the artist introduced roses as symbolic motifs. Roses, renowned as symbols of love, devotion, peace, togetherness, and happiness, emerged throughout his paintings. Moreover, the inclusion of single brass bells in each artwork hinted at awakening and calling. Traditionally, brass bells symbolize the voice of God, often rung to summon people for prayer, across various religious traditions.

Qazi’s latest body of work did not merely serve as a chronological narrative of his artistic journey or directly connect to his past oeuvre. The exhibition itself underwent an evolution with each painting, progressing from monochromatic compositions to vibrant hues, from Arabic-stylized typography to dynamic splashes of color. Collectively, these elements showcased the artist’s mastery of his skills, presented in a skillfully controlled manner.

The paintings exuded a sense of comprehensiveness while simultaneously intriguing viewers with their enigmatic nature. Qazi’s meditative approach became evident when one took a step back and allowed the serenity of the paintings to wash over them. One of the most captivating aspects was the transition from a vibrant and lively palette to a subdued and calming one. Qazi cleverly employed various shades of red, whether vibrant or muted, as background tones or to accentuate the focal point of a rose.

The dominance and exquisite portrayal of the roses on the canvas bear resemblance to Salvador Dali’s “Meditative Rose” from 1958. Dali’s painting symbolized dominance, while in Qazi’s artwork, these roses embody beauty, youth, and a sense of loneliness, as if eagerly awaiting admiration and affection.

Although the artist has been creating these masterpieces for quite a substantial period, he had not found the opportunity amidst his commissioned work to exhibit them until now.

Transitioning from GN Qazi’s paintings, let us delve into Qasim Bugti’s artistic expression. Deciphering the artist’s unique art language requires keen attention to detail. Qasim has been vocal about the ongoing political and social circumstances of our country, utilizing art as a medium to convey his messages.

In his latest series, Qasim chose to expand upon his previous work, which emphasizes emotions and human connections. He metaphorically likens humans to trees, offering a distinctive perspective on humanity that diverges from our own.

The artist’s compositions demonstrate his emotional strength and deep observations of human emotions and relationships. Understanding the depth of his work requires a shift in mindset, acknowledging the fluid connections he establishes between humans and nature.

Qasim perceives trees as symbolic representations of humans, akin to the sentiments expressed by renowned poets of the past, such as A.E. Housman, Adrienne Rich, and William Wordsworth. These poets extensively discussed the role of trees in their lives and drew parallels between trees and human experiences. Qasim believes that trees, like humans, embody qualitiesof patience, strength, growth, and behavior. When nurtured with love and care, they thrive and become resilient. However, neglect and deprivation cause them to wither and perish.

The weathered wrinkles on tree barks, accompanied by the fading colors of the trees, serve as reminders to Qasim of aging, particularly of parents who grow old and frail. Despite their vulnerabilities, they continue to provide shelter and shade to their children, much like a tree that fulfills its purpose even in the weakest phase of its life.

By incorporating these themes and metaphors, Qasim Bugti invites us to contemplate the profound connections between humans and nature, echoing the sentiments expressed by poets throughout the history of the arts.

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