Inventive and stimulating

Nadeem Zuberi

Artists Haya Zaidi and Onaiz Taji are among those emerging artists who like to be inventive and in the process create stimulating artworks for the art lovers in an exhibition titled “Parallel Realities” at Sanat Gallery, Karachi. Both the artists graduated from National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore invented their own worlds or parallel realities in the series.

Though formally trained in miniature painting, both the artists can be classified as artists reaching into contemporary practices pushing the boundaries of the age old tradition to find new modes of expression.

Engaged in figurative art with symbolic components, and other distinguishable forms, both artists develop personal arguments and complex compositions. Their artworks offered an allegorical commentary and intimate introspection on political, personal and social situations and unfold the narrative into their own invented styles.

Artists around the world depicted and conceived the human body according to their perception and desires. They manipulate figurative paintings following their inspirations and aspirations.

For Haya Zaidi the female form was a mythical being which she incorporate with various societal circumstances and living standards that were set by our society. As a woman she saw things through woman lens and therefore has different view on the same issue. The works were seemed to be her personal response to the surrounding she lives in as she got affected by the environment around her.

Her experiences and desires resonated in her artworks. She has used multiple mediums such as collage, ink, acrylic and polyester film to create desired visuals that comment on the age-old culture. The use of female body images in her work was based on exploring the femininity issue in our society and by doing so she has challenged the domination and supremacy of men.

Haya struck the sensitive cord in people’s life that is joined with their basics of life like hope renewal and religious code of conduct that everybody has to follow.

She portrayed her themes of feminism and mysticism with a blend of symbols in contemporary settings. She used intricate art of miniature painting combined with mix media to achieve her desired expressions.

She was more interested in the process of images that show different perceptions of a subject, which changed depending on individual experiences from viewer to viewer.

She seemed to enjoy using many different mediums in a single creation. And by combining many layers working in detail she questions the suppression of feminism in a third world society.

She reflected on variety of women issues by telling multifarious stories through her works from human emotions of lust, greed and helplessness and hope to the role of female sexuality in our society. Hence she focused on socio-political issues and the effects of such issues on women.

Onaiz Taji has been trained in the traditional style of Mughal painting. The human figure seemed to inspire him the most and became an important point of reference for him to discuss his thoughts and feelings.

His work was basically insignificant according to the present style of work being done by the young artists as they do not touch any specific theme or subject but they were incredibly elaborated.

The micro figures in his artworks were like ocean of human being young and old, women and men which look alike from a distance but on closer look one found detailed narratives. One discovered surprising elements and became captivated with the micro human images.

The characters in the artworks were connected and seemed to be conventional, personalized and factual. Even though each figure has some specific features that differentiate one from the other, they are sometimes difficult to notice.

(The writer can be reached at [email protected])