ISLAMABAD - For many of us, Ahmed Faraz’s verse ‘Be-eitmadiyon ka dhooaan bhi sahi magar/ kuch geet bhi to shehar ki khamoshiyon mein hein’, depicts the disintegrated societal behaviour prevalent in the country, but Arjumand Awan, an artist, gave the verse a new dimension by making it the theme of his new painting collection.
Following the theme of ‘hope’, Arjumand Awan, a self-taught artist from Islamabad, put up 25 abstract and figurative images highlighting socio-cultural to religo-political issues at the Nomad Gallery on Friday.
He said he read the famous verse with positive spectacles, saying the glass is not half empty but half full.
Awan’s solo exhibition depicts the journey of the human society in social, political and personal realms. Working with acrylics on paper, the artist gives the illusion of water colour and oil paints.
Known for his harsher style of painting realistic pictures, Awan diversifies his approach to address social issues by depicting his message in a softer manner with bolder strokes.
Talking with Pakistan Today, the artist said: “We live in turbulent times and my aim was to use my creativity and art to promote awareness about basic human rights and to defend them across the gender divide.”
Awan added that the collection was not only highlighting the issues in the federal capital, but also those prevalent across the country.
The artist’s thematic sensibility works well with the vision of Nageen Hyat, the owner of Nomad Gallery and who is also a social activist.
Hyat said the collection is experimental but aesthetically strong. “Awan’s second solo exhibition at Nomad delves further into the realms of soul searching and the reflection of contemporary society,” she added.
The artist revealed that he is a self-taught artist and is in the process of self-discovery. “I create my own world. Painting is my language and it is my way of life,” he said.
The artist said his artwork takes a critical view of the social, political and cultural milieu. “Each project often consists of multiple works, in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During research and production, new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work,” Awan said adding that he is mostly influenced by everything he sees, feels and experiences.
Born in Peshawar in 1959, Awan said he has tried to use his creativity and art not only for the purpose of decoration but also to promote, raise awareness, demand and defend human rights.
The exhibition will remain open at the Nomad Gallery till March 5.