Taaza Tareen 1

Local Artists’ Residency

April 8 – April 28, 2005

with Ali Kazim, Auj Khan, Ayesha Durrani, Ayesha Khan, Mahreen Zuberi, Mohammad Ali Talpur & Naveid Iqbal

Following the success of the International Residencies in the formative years of Vasl, a three-week residency program was designed for seven Pakistani artists in the emerging years of their practices.

Ali Kazim, Auj Khan, Ayesha Durrani, Ayesha Khan, Mehreen Zuberi, Mohammad Ali Talpur and Naveid Iqbal were invited to participate in the first Vasl ‘Taaza Tareen’ residency.

The artists came from various backgrounds and had graduated from different art universities across Pakistan, enabling each to bring his/her own discipline of art practice and sensibility towards the residency. As part of the educational outreach component of the residency, the artists conducted a 2 day workshop at two The Citizens Foundation (TCF) Schools in Karachi. The informal lectures and activities were designed to introduce the students with a basic idea of what it meant to be an artist in a Pakistani society. The artists asks the students for their interpretation of the words ‘art’, ‘creativity’ and ‘fun’ which lead to a mural and a story-based exercise. The mural consisted of each student working from a given reference on his or her individual boards to be put together at the end creating a collaborative image.

During the program, the seven artists explored narratives and materials interlinked in their practices at studios provided by the Rangoonwala Foundation and exhibited their final bodies of work at the V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi. The Open Forum discussion was attended with over 80 participants at the V.M. Art Gallery and much dialogue was generated about work practice and individual aspirations.

Ali Kazim

Instead of narrative manifestation my images are based on my meditative results of my intimate experiences . Lucidity of folktales, simplicity of fundamentals, moral values of sufies, ornamental forms, discipline of intricate details make me closer to my paintings.

Auj Khan

In the local context, the horse and the camouflage served as metaphors for the democratic process in the country, and the vacant, worn out chair a question for the times to come. On a global level it alludes to questions of economic hegemony and our position within it. Also questions of peace and destruction hover the volatile region of the sub-continent.

Arcadia deals with the virtual, constructed image of a beautiful escape we live in. Formally my work also attempts to negotiate and answer questions of what it means to paint in times today. The nature of ‘image’ itself, the painting process and personal concerns become my work.

Ayesha Durrani

An artists’ surroundings play an important role in his or her work. Being a woman, I think it is even more so, because we have a more outlines space that we occupy in our daily lives. Sometimes, we are even forbidden to cross that invisible line. So, there is always curiosity to find out what goes on the outside.

“Directions” is all about crossing that line and the disorientation felt in a new environment.

Being in a new place helps you open up and find out new things about yourself, personally and professionally, but then again same things follow you everywhere.

Ayesha Khan

This is the first time in my artistic career that I have been able to communicate heartfelt feelings successfully. This work is an out pouring of emotions I have been undergoing lately. It has been a challenging and colourful year for me, full of surprises.

The title is derived from a feeling of relief and triumph over circumstances. It has been a long break since I painted without inhibition. “Finally….”, I have been able to paint the way I wanted to. The Kaaba is the focal point from where the rest of the painting originates or leads to. I have been investing some time in strengthening my relationship with the Almighty and FINALLY I had a breakthrough. My father’s death was instrumental in pushing me closer to God. The crisscrossing lines going to and from the Kaaba stand for the myriad inter-related concerns that rule our mental life. I have FINALLY come to realize a simple truth – the only solution to all questions is God.

Just like millions congregate around the Kaaba, the crows stand for a family union. We were a family of 5, practicing a daily ritual of having evening tea together under the lush tree in our patio. Now only 4 remain and the ritual doesn’t feel the same. Hence, the tree is barren.

This work is rich in personal symbology and is an expression of a million issues that rule my life currently. I do not intent it to be read as sad. It is a complex depiction of a recent shift in personal outlook and perspective.

Mahreen Zuberi

“What gets you started?” is a bit of tease, where the images light heartedly flirt with the viewer.

Mohammad Ali Talpur

I start a painting with a single line and then keep on adding to it, as the lines increase they naturally curve and take on their own direction, on the way making errors, but moving on. I contain my experiences in the complexity of this line. The starting point being darker and the end much lighter, it is about time, distance and living.

Naveid Iqbal

Sharing of cigarettes and sharing of thoughts are proportional to each other for me.

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