By Jamal Ashiqain
KARACHI: Internationally acclaimed Muhammed Zeeshan, opened the doors to an unexpected exhibition on Saturday at the Sanat Art Gallery, in Karachi. Unexpected because this body of work was supposed to be in Dubai at the moment, Packed after being exhibited at the Art Dubai but for reasons unforeseen this body of work had to stay back in Karachi, and another work has to be traveled to be exhibited at Art Dubai.
As one enters the doors of the gallery, the exhibition titled “Yeh Payara Parcham” ( this beloved flag ) gives you a warm welcome. At first sight, you are awestruck by the huge sizes and colorful imagery, but it takes only a few seconds to realize there is much more to the work then meets the eye.
They are huge flags of countries, created by text, some lyrics of songs and others are extracts from the Quran layered over carefully selected imagery and No the mockery is not on religion at all. The imagery is a commentary on social-political issues.
In the crowd, the artist is overheard saying, “I have only illustrated the facts“, yes indeed they are the facts, which often go unnoticed, and the moment an artist puts them on his canvas becomes a statement. In this case, its an intelligent one because the choices of the words used to weave a countries flag, and the imagery on which it is layered narrates the necked truth of today’s international politics.
The medium the artist chose is a statement of its own self, The use of glass paper, which is course, and built to erase has been layered and used at the foundation of his work, over which the use of oil petals, and chalk pestle, a medium which is soft and mild, a clash of the two as if it’s a yin yang, a tussle between good and bad, in which the winner is not the rough, abrasive surface but what covers it to narrate a story of its own.
The whole show is a delightful marvel to anyone who would see the depth of it and the mastery is in its every element of execution, fortunate for us that we experienced such an amazing body of work here in Karachi today.