A Matter of Perception

Author: Salwat Ali | Publication: Newsline– Artline (p.108) | Dated: Nov 2009

Every age has a defining ideology and, in the present climate of shifting realities, it is the mantra of relativism that has hit Continue reading

Figure of Speech

Author: N.R. | Publication: Chawkandi Art Gallery | Dated: 29 Sept 2009

A collaborative project between Roohi Ahmed and Abdullah Syed, “Figure of Speech” was devised during a residency in Sydney, Australia. Continue reading

Drawing Attention

Author: Lubna Agha | Publication: Unknown | Dated: Not Known

Nahid Raza is a fighter who refuses to give up, the relict that survives despite a hostile milieu. Warring against life‘s injustices Continue reading

Sign of the Times

Author: Salwat Ali | Publication: Newsline- Artline (p.132) | Dated: Sep 2007

In this age of nuclear proliferation, inhabitants of politically volatile states live a life fraught with stress, anxiety and apprehension. Continue reading

Pakistan is a toothpick, says artist

Author: Unknown | Publication: Reloaded | Dated: Not Known

Sculptor and artist Munawar Ali syed believes we live in an “age of deception” – the information we receive is made palatable by Teleprompters and fixed smiles. His latest exhibit, ‘Reloaded’ has been influenced by toothpicks and how they are good analogies for Pakistan’s role in the ‘war against terror’. The exhibition opened on Tuesday and will remain till March 2.

There are a total of 19 pieces, six made purely of toothpicks, three are carvings, and there are six ‘reliefs’ (wall- rnounted) optical illusions. Syed openly admits that his work is “a little ant media”. He uses “pretty faces in the optical illusions, which clash with, the ugly news on television. You see spikes next to the faces; it’s a dialogue between reality and deception.”

In keeping with the theme of trickery, the optical illusions are all faces with Mona Lisa eyes that follow the observer as he or she moves. “I want the viewer to be part of that confusion and ambiguity which led to my work,” said Syed in his statement.

Syed claims he was inspired while flipping through television channels after dinner one night. He chanced upon international news channels, bemoaning Pakistan’s lack of contribution to the war against terror. All the while he was cleaning his teeth with a toothpick. He found that some of the residue was so well lodged in his teeth that he could not remove them without puncturing his gums.

It dawned on him that as a country, “we play the role of toothpicks, when you eat something nice and it gets stuck in your teeth you clean it out with a toothpick. It is our role to clean out the leftover dirt such as the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Once the militants were the heroes because they were opposing Russia, and now they are the antagonists and have to be removed.” The faces made of toothpicks are of everyday people, “but if you look carefully their heads have aeroplanes perched on them, symbolising drone attacks”.

The Cultural Discourse

Author: Marjorie Husain | Publication: Art Friend | Dated: Not Known

The recently produced, extremely powerful body of work by Munnawar Ali Syed that is exhibited at the Chawkandi Art, Karachi, is the Continue reading

Modern Miniatures

Author: Rumana Husain | Publication: Dawn– Gallery (p.6) | Dated: 11 Aug 2007

In Amna Hashmi’s miniature paintings, details of fragile flowers, water droplets, wings of elves and fairies shimmer gently, Continue reading

Better Than Ever

Author: Marjorie Husain | Publication: Art–Review-(p.12) | Dated: 10 Dec 1996

Entering a new phase of her work, Nahid Raza makes a reaffirmation of an aesthetic commitment to the theme of women‘s causes. While Continue reading

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