AUTHOR: SHAMIM AKHTER
PUBLICATIONS: DAILY NEWS
Chawkandi Art hosted a group exhibition of miniature paintings by Muhammad Zeeshan, Shoaib Mehmood, Hajra Yousaf and Maryam lrfan, four young graduates from NCA, Lahore.
Working within the parameters of traditional miniature paintings, the young artists expressed their present experiences of life on their vaslis. Zeeshan has been painting guns and banana on his vaslis since he graduated in 2004. It is the gun that pops out from within the banana peel. Actually his works are a statement on propaganda. He criticises the art of propaganda in line. Propaganda is an art to spread a hypothesis to the horizons so that argument to find reality is lost somewhere beyond the horizons and common people may take the spread out lie as truth. Zeeshan has found the moment to look for the truth in life at an early age. He finds the truth when he turns up just a corner of pretentious sheet of propaganda and finds nothing beneath. He uses gun and banana as symbols of propaganda. Through these two symbols he makes his audience realize that propaganda about gun is a mere banana. It is gun and turban cloth all over as symbols of terrorism. Throughout them remain mere symbols and give license to the mighty to paint certain regions red. Zeeshans statements are mature and immediately look like a male voice. He has found his click to express what he feels as a man.
Shoaib Mehmood belongs to the same batch but he took a year more to get his degree in Miniature from NCA. Being the only son made him pay his toll this way. He truly depicts his boyish feeling about himself on his canvases when he paints headless bodies, and upside down trees and electric poles. It is a comical situation on his canvases, but at the same time true as he finds himself in similar paradoxes. The loin on his canvas is the power, currently his father, who gives no credit to his passion and takes it as a waste of time, energy and a son. Headless figure in front of the loin is Shoaib, who loses his wits in front of the authority of his father. To assert his importance. Shoaib does all sort of juggleries. Herein come his upside down electric poles and trees. He uses them as metaphors for his position in the family. His footless and headless figures also represent his personality that is being eaten by the forces around and he is left with no time to do what he wants to do.
Hajra Yousaf Khan has worked with thread thin reality. On her canvases thread is the ruler to set norms for a womans life. She turns thread into a covering. lt is this covering that has kept Haira hidden from the public eye. lt is only her hands, feet and face that are in the open; the rest of her is behind a thread. At times one finds a broken loop and the thread starts getting loose from the knit turning into an ocean. lt seems like an ocean of desires, which has no limits. The fear of getting lost to the limitless refrains her from coming out of the web of thread. She makes a statement of her inner war that is going on in her on vaslis.