ISLAMABAD: Fascinating works representing a fusion of the present with the past, while maintaining a balance between modernity and tradition, were exhibited at the Khaas Gallery.
The title of the exhibition is Commixture. Austrian-born artist Ursula Kiesling attempted to somehow reinterpret the miniature style of painting, creating an alternative technique; for example, she used English on the borders instead of the old language.
The work highlights how people remain trapped in the same pattern as history repeats itself and how each generation is thus faced with the same problems.
Ms. Kiesling has staged several disparate dramas and storylines on the same platform, with the potential to intersect and contribute to a larger narrative; fictional scenes, like news headlines, have been riddled with larger-than-life drama, but his imagery, like all art, is an imitation of reality.
The artist tried to reveal to the viewer the idea of life in abundance: chaotic, rich, complex and tumultuous. The world represented in his work seems to be a mixture of passions, hopes and motivations, where contrasting moods such as joy and tragedy come together.
Ms. Kiesling used a bright, vibrant color palette to show some rather obnoxious scenes. To add her own touch to the work, she used watercolor while putting aside the traditional method of gouache on wasli.
Some works reveal the splendor attached to marriage ceremonies in the country and how people continue to obsess over them. In doing so, Ms. Kiesling provided visitors with a gateway to her own thoughts and the lens through which she sees Pakistani society.
“This is a collection of stories that confront the dilemmas of our contemporary life in Pakistan. The way these stories are portrayed reflects a playing field for exploring the relationship between epic drama, as known from mythology, and traditional visual storytelling of the Mughal Empire era.
“Coming as a European expatriate in Pakistan, I found myself above all in a specific form of exchange within a specific framework and social conditions. Aware of this exchange, I cannot prevent my artistic play from being multidimensional. I was lucky to find myself invited to several Pakistani weddings. The traditions of these weddings go back a long way and are linked to the customs and culture of the Indian subcontinent, ”the artist said on opening day.
Posted in Dawn, December 24, 2021