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February 9, 2012 / the s.a. project

the artist and the self


PINSTORY, 35mm slide film – Farina Alam

Recently I got a forwarded email from R.M.Naeem who is a teacher and a renowned painter. He was my instructor at NCA in 2003. Although he and I have very different opinions and we don’t agree eye-to-eye on many things, he is one of the few people who don’t read a threat into my ramblings and treats me and my opinions with respect. I’ve also gotten to talk to Naeem Sahab on many occasions about the issues that plague the art market and institutions in Pakistan. He is very prompt and direct in his reply – he acknowledges the politics very strongly and has decided that rather than be affected by it he will do his own lobbying – hence the RM Naeem residency for artists, group shows, talks etc. that include many from his own ‘school of thought’.

Coming back to where I started off – the email. Most recently he shared the photo-album from the showMEIN’ – ‘The Artist and the Self‘, a group show curated by Noorjehan Bilgrami and AmeanJ. The exhibit opens in February at the Koel Gallery Karachi and showcases the work of more than 80 artists! Now that’s an ambitious selection, but apparently the grand size of it is due to the 3rd anniversary of the gallery.

I saw through the album and as is to be expected from such large exhibits there are ALL kinds of works included. Famous artists, not-so-famous artists, great works, bland boring works, experimental works, replicated works… and so on and so forth. I’m including a selection of images here that truly caught my eye and thought I should share them on my blog. Go see the show and tell me how it was!

The first two images posted here are by print-makers/painters Anwar Saeed and Naazish Ata-ullah (more fondly known as Najji), who also happened to be my tutors for the entire year of 2004. Both Anwar sahab and Najji are showcasing digital works that are quite fascinating. Regarding Najji’s work, you might be interested in checking out an earlier post of mine that discusses nudity and sexuality in contemporary Pakistani art –> Naked – literally & figuratively.

The Comfort of Strangers, Digital print on archival paper - Anwar Saeed

The Transparency of Time VII, Digital Print - Naazish Ata-ullah

I have seen the video by Amra Khan, stills from which are posted below. It is macabre, nauseating and f***ing brilliant. I don’t know why I loved it but it made me shudder and equally connect at some very demented level. I find Masooma Syed’s work intriguing mainly because I find her intensely intriguing. Her work is complex and intertwined chaotically with her own personal life and often results in some very quirky artwork. Other works posted here are by Amin Gulgee, Mohammad Ali Talpur, Mahreen Zuberi, Saba Khan and finally Iqbal Geoffrey.

Born This Way, Croc’s skull, roses, and painted steel - Amin Gulgee

Weeping wounds that never heal, Video Installation - Amra Khan

Mohammad Ali Talpur, Ink on paper - Mohammad Ali Talpur

Sweet Tooth, Digital print - Mahreen Zuberi

Kalyani BLACK LABEL, Silver and found material – Masooma Syed

Bad Prana, MDF with acrylic paint. Sculpture: Fabric with glass beads, pins, threads and polyester stuffing - Saba Khan

And for sheer entertainment value and tongue-in-cheek like no other: Iqbal Geoffreys paseenay-daar Mona Lisa. I don’t quite know what to think of it. But because I like his weird drawings and postcard series I’ll let this one slip by!

Portrait (Port-A-Trait) Won:: (SAD) MONA LISA SWEATING IT OUGHT (She is All Paseena-Paseena) in THE SHALIMAR GARDENS DURING A RECENT PAKISTAN YATRA":circa 1990 to 2012 , Relief (3D Sculptural) in fibreglass on plexiglass and mixed media- Iqbal Geoffrey

See the complete gallery here: MEIN” – ‘The ARTIST AND THE SELF

Koel Gallery – Feb 9-20, 2012.
All images courtesy: Noorjehan Bilgrami @ Koel gallery


You might also like to read: Pakistani Contemporary Art – A Brief History of Now


Leave a Comment
  1. Maria Khan / Feb 10 2012 12:53 pm

    LOVE MONA LISA!!!!!!!!!! so beautiful!!

  2. Gilberto Galaz / May 19 2012 5:41 pm

    Thx for information.

  3. Dragon Story Cheats / Jun 5 2014 9:40 am

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she keeps the thought of a user in his/her brain that how a user can be aware of
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  1. the artist and the self | Tea Break
  2. Photographing Artists Series – I « The s.a. Project
  3. Photographing Artists Series – II « The s.a. Project

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