ISLAMABAD: My Art World proudly showcases new works by three prominent young artists at ‘Echoes of Polarity’, a group exhibition by Scheherzade Junejo, Dua Abbas Rizvi and Rajab Ali Sayed that opened at House No 27-A, St 18, F7/2, Islamabad past Thursday.
The show was curated by Zara Sajid, curator at the My Art World, while renowned art critic Lavinia Fillipi was the chief guest on the occasion.
The online art gallery www.myartworld.com.pk enables artists to showcase globally for art connoisseurs to browse and buy, even from abroad.
The concept for ‘Echoes of Polarity’ resulted from the bond that the three artists shared.
Scheherzade Junejo and Dua Abbas were contemporaries at the National College of Arts, Lahore, and Rajab began his artistic journey in their shadow, sparking an artistic bond among this trio.
A theme prevalent in all three artists’ work is observations of human beings (social animals), and the subtle but effective impact that society has on their subjects.
Rajab’s new work explores both ends of his artistic concerns. Social space and activity in pieces like Blue Velvet, and isolation and solitude in pieces like Tactile Experiences. “My paintings are odes to my generation, the times that I’m living in, the fantasy and romance that I aspire to and the realisation of mortality.”
Born to a Filipino mother and a Pakistani father, most of Rajab’s childhood was spent in the capital city of Manila in the Philippines.
He attended the National College of Arts in Lahore on a merit scholarship. Rajab graduated from the NCA in 2013 with a distinction in fine art, presenting an inter-disciplinary thesis project in painting, video installation, and photography titled ‘Pretty Young Things’.
In addition to this, Rajab has trained under Pratt graduate Mehreen Lali Khalid to master the art of photo-transfers, which comprises a large part of his print portfolio and exhibited at ‘Convergence: The Ties That Bind’ group show, Alckemy Gallery, Lahore, 2013; ‘New Romantic: Works by Rajab Ali Sayed and Zahrah Ehsan’, Rohtas Gallery, Islamabad, 2013, and a group show featuring new works by Dua Abbas and Rajab Ali Sayed at the Unicorn Gallery, Karachi, 2013.
Scheherzade Junejo, born in 1986, graduated from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in January 2010, is trained in sculpture, printmaking and photography, and specialised in painting.
She currently teaches at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. She describes her figurative work as in-depth social observations that highlight the inner layer, where the body is stripped off its clothing and hair; where it’s perfect and is made to seem extraordinary using an otherwise ordinary subject – flesh in its rawest form waiting to be judged without its layers.
Similar to black and white, ‘Echoes of Polarity’ can be seen from various perspectives; through the symmetry of the characters; through the placement of animate with inanimate objects; or through the conversation emanating between the figures, giving them a bi-polar quality.
She has had numerous exhibitions from June 2010 to date, most notably ‘The Fashion Show’, a solo exhibit (T2F, Karachi); ‘Body of Work’; ‘After All’, curated by Quddus Mirza (Royaat Gallery, Lahore); ‘Psychological Space’ (IVS Gallery, Karachi); ‘In Praise of Red’, curated by Faryal Latif and Quddus Mirza (Royaat Gallery, Lahore); ‘Art Melbourne’ (Royal Exhibition Hall, Melbourne, Australia); solo show titled ‘Scheherezade Junejo’ (Royaat Gallery, Lahore); ‘Art – A New Approach’ (Ejaz Gallery, Lahore); ‘Sublime Expression’ (Mussawir Art Gallery, Dubai); and ‘Within & Without’ (Full Circle Gallery, Karachi).
She was awarded ‘10 Best Works’ at ‘Red Hot’ (group show of 300+ artists) at the Alhamra Arts Council, Lahore, in April 2011, and worked at VASL Artists Collective in Karachi in 2011 and at L’ecole School of Advances Studies from 2010 to 2012. She co-curated ‘Within & Without’ with Guddo Haider in 2013, and designed the 2014 Summer and Fall Collection for Monsieur Fox.
Dua’s recent work explores the roles allotted to females in myths and folklore. It is not a very conscious exploration, and can be seen as an expression of vague disgruntlement at how trim and perfunctory these roles have become over time.
The systematic truncation of feminine roles has been even more drastic in our iconoclastic culture and religion.
This has made her look to the past, all the more in search of settings in which she could place her protagonists.
“The female protagonists of my paintings float through eras and ideas, pausing here and there to catch their breaths and steady themselves but their hearts are forever dreaming.”
Dua Abbas is a visual artist and writer based in Lahore. She graduated from the National College of Arts in 2009 with a distinction in painting, and was awarded the Shakir Ali Award and Sir Percy Brown Prize for excellence in fine art and history of art. Her work has been exhibited across Pakistan and in group shows in Dubai and India, most notably among which are ‘Elegies, Effigies’ (Taseer Art Gallery, Lahore); ‘Within and Without’ (Full Circle Gallery, Karachi); ‘Body of Work’ and ‘Conch Curve Creation’; ‘Young Blood’ (Canvas Gallery, Karachi); ‘Art – A New Approach’ (Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore); and ‘Vast Narratives’ (Rohtas Gallery, Islamabad). Dua also reviews art for The Friday Times and ArtNow Pakistan. The show continues until February 12, 2014.
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