Taaza Tareen 5

Local Artists’ Residency


with Sausan Saulat, Haider Ali Jan, Unum Babar, Fahim Rao & Amna Tariq

The fifth annual Taaza Tareen artists included Sausan Saulat, Haider Ali Jan, Unum Babar, Fahim Rao and Amna Tariq. Each of them brought their own voice and creative energy to reflect on the urban texture and landscape of the city.

Haider Ali Jan believed that in order to understand an ideology or people, one has to physically become part of the group one is studying – the artist has to stand beside them and listen to their stories and understand their belief system such as the ordinary rituals of playing cards on the streets or celebrating the birth of a saint. “I find it very interesting that the same performances can change in different geographical locations.”

Amna Tariq worked with complex languages and dialogues that are rooted in the psychological and physiological history of the city. “The world outside has forced its way in and layers of historical and current dilemmas and are building a mesh over the surface of canvas, which translates itself into the ultimate human experience or consciousness, of experiencing life at present. Keeping in mind that the present form of life has evolved in layers over time, the work is developed in layers of paint. The way we all relate to life and its complexities is different.”

Unum Babar’s work was grounded in the small details that construct a city. Babar found the city expanding endlessly, like a complicated pop-up, its constituents held together by spider web-thin yet incredibly strong threads of connection, communication and cultural unification. Babar reflected later that, “Every day, every hour and every minute in Karachi brings about a new fascinating discovery. Even the banality of the urban space is different from Lahore. Surprises and whispers hide in the nooks and crannies of the architecture, reaching out to me with water-pipe hands and metal-grill faces.”

“I have realized that even exploring the mood of the city’s architecture within a one-kilometer radius could dictate me to stay on for another year, and this short period of time was enough for the beginnings of something new and exciting in my practice.”