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The Stateman – Separated by borders, bonded by art

Separated by borders, bonded by art

Tamanna Nasser/thestatesman.com
Posted at: Jan 29 2016 10:19AM

By drawing geographical borders, the neighbouring nation Pakistan has been carved out of India and separated. But, currently participating in the eight edition of India Art Fair – Taseer Art Gallery’s owner Sanam Taseer feels that the citizens of the two countries still resonate same feelings when it comes to matters of ‘art’.

“It’s very different, coming to India. We are so foreign to the rest of the world. I have been to Europe, I have had exhibitions in the US too. But, the works of Pakistani artists resonate so much with the people of India unlike other places. They immediately understand the aesthetics here,” Sanam told thestatesman.com.

Sanam’s gallery showcases the works of four young artists – Saba Khan, Farida Batool, Mohsin Shafi and Humaira Abid – from Pakistan. It represents the country in the current year’s art fair which is touted as the largest modern and contemporary art festival in South-East Asia. The curation is dedicated to the city of Lahore.

“We are focusing on Lahore and we are talking about the different aspects of the city through the work of these four artists,” Sanam said.

Although transmitting the asthetics of one city, the four artists used varied materials and styles to depict different aspects of Lahore.

Humaira’s work primarily focuses on “relationships” and while designing her sculptors she pays attention to finer details and they are visible in all her artwork.

Explaining Humaira’s work, created with mahagony, wood and bronze, the gallerist said: “Humaria’s work focuses on the domestic aspects. These pieces are very personal pieces about homes. The tiffins illustrate how lovingly lunches are prepared by women and how efforts are put into building a home and it is a particular cultural reference. It’s something that translates to both India and Pakistan.”

With two pieces – Ek Shehar Jo Udaas Hai (a city that is sad) and Dekhna Manaa Hai (seeing is prohibiting) –  University of New South Wales graduate Farida reflects the unsaid truths that define Lahore.

The red bricks, in the former, for instance signifies the signature architectural style of Lahore which is also called the “Walled City” and the different layers speak about it’s complex socio-political history and shows glimpses of its urban life.

“There’s a feeling attached to this work which only people from this part of the world can understand,” Sanam said, adding, “It unfolds itself slowly, it’s so difficult to go to Lahore as many constraints exist. You get to see multiple aspects of the city – social and political – through these layers.”

Then, in bright hues of pink, red and orange, adding beads and crystals to her creation, Saba presents a happy, positive and quirky side of Lahore that is seldom ignored. While, Mohsin uses clippings from newspapers and magazines and photographs from the Internet to underline important issues like sexuality, spirituality and violence in the present day society.

Now, after making her presence felt with these brilliant artworks in her first affair with the India Art Fair, Sanam hopes to come back to the fair again in the future and is looking forward to experiencing the remaining three days of this edition.
Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/mobi/news/india/separated-by-borders-bonded-by-art/119697.html#uD2EFZvJj45QC6FJ.99

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