Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Symbolic portrayal of illusion & reality

Mohammad Atif Khan’s exhibition opening at Khaas Gallery here on Tuesday showcases a diverse and symbolic portrayal of illusion and reality. 

Like a balancing act of trapeze, the artist plays with depth and surface with his layered digital and block-printed images on transparent sheets and glasses to capture his aesthetic inspiration ‘Opposites Always Attract’. 

Ants — black and hideous as they are — swarm in almost all of his 20 pieces on display along with the cloying sweetness on cupcakes and rice balls, all conveying his critique and narratives of the opposites of life around us. One can find recognisable objects and symbols in his works that convey very simple and obvious meanings, yet they also offer a very harsh and hidden veracity. 

Atif describes his work as a narrative in nature that can lead the viewer to find hidden messages. His images in digital and hand prints of diverse and contrasting environments are juxtaposed in one space, subverting their original contextual meaning and suggesting new messages to weave a balance between the opposites, and the story continues. 

The presence of Fashion Guru Tariq Amin added a lot of glamour to the exhibition. Sharing his views on Atif’s work with ‘The News’, Tariq said, “The artist seems to have a lot of romance in his heart, as he has given an interesting flavour and texture of life around us.” He said the contrasting themes and colours used by the artist reflect a balance between chaos and calm, love and hate that surrounds our life today, and the presence of ants, guns and sweets balance out the chaos in an interesting blend. 

“Some things in Atif’s works I find as very disturbing and I may not be able to live with such harsh reality, but we all are living those realities in our day-to-day life and Atif has presented a beautiful balance of life through his work,” Tariq Amin added. 

A visual artist and an art teacher, Mohammad Atif Khan did four-year Bachelors of Fine Arts with distinction from National College of Arts, Lahore (1993-97), and also one-year diploma course in Fine Arts from Karachi School of Arts (1991-92). His work is also part of several private and public collections in Pakistan, India, USA, EU, Australia, UAE, Jordan, UK, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. The exhibition would continue at Khaas Art Gallery (House no. 1, Street 2, F-6/3) till April 10. 

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