Expression of an artist !

 

Art is an expression , its an artist’s thought which is put in a visual on a surface in two or three or more dimensions , as many as you can add including sound , smell feelings what ever the artist’s will to toss in . An artist’s expression is free and is for the people, specially common people who may see it by not a very trained eye, not for its artistic aspects but for the mare visual it is and may interpret it in any way s/he feels. 

I my believe and faith and practice expressions belong to people, common people, not the few elite, enlightened, brilliant few but for a larger audience, the majority of the society, not the minority, regardless of the fact that  the minority is the ruling, powerful affluent one. 

It was only recently that I casually installed one of my works at the local flea shop. My work which is priced slightly under 500USD is placed among the old thrown out junk, and discarded items hanging on one of the columns. 

Firstly i have put my work which is a digital print in a setting where its seen by the common, unexpected people, who have come to probably get some cheep bargain who would stumble upon this peace and will question . How much , why so expensive? Who is the artist ? What has been done ? 

The answers are all in a paper which is kept in the drawer and is given only on request – 

The second thing is to make people aware that digital prints are also art, its not just oil painting or sculpture . 

Thirdly to challenge the mind set that art works belongs to galleries only, it wont be respected else where, it will be an insult if you put it in any other setting besides a gallery or an exhibition space- 

My work has come out of the bubble, and its breaking the label placed on art which reads ” can be admired by an elite only”  and for this i have faced much criticism , i have been told that i am “demeaning my work” i have been told i am acting like  ” a mosquito who lives in a dirty pond ”   Well who has polluted these ponds ? Not the nature but us very humans who are now calling it dirty , and mosquitos dont live in dirty ponds , they leave their eggs there so their newly hatched babies are born to the harsh realities if the world before they can fly off to gardens and jungles to borrow a few drops of blood from other animals so as to breed and not to actually feed , Hey we have something to learn from the  mosquitos here who you just called dirty ! 

Well coming back to my work hanging there between the antiques and trash is my work, its for the common people, the people we think are verminous, the people who make the most of the population of the planet and the people who as consumers are keeping us few elites alive ! 

Expression of an artist !

The Dew Action Event 

I was at one of the Mountain Dew’s  “action” event today, I was excited to see the stunts performed by bikers and skateboards from abroad, these are internationally acclaimed athletes, and the event was well spent on, heavenly advertised so the hype was there.

I reached the venue at 5:30 sharp. My pass read gate-2 I asked two volunteers and they confirmed its gate 2, i stood in the line for a good 20 minutes and as soon as i reached near the entrance we were told it a family only entrance, and we will have to go to another gate ( Gate 4),

As odd as it may sound the term “Family” for such instances, in pakistan is any guy along with a female friend or even stranger, but as long as you are with a lady you are considered “family”, anyways we arriving at gate-4 and I realised there is an entry point for families there too. I entered into the venue and so did a few families through the gate beside me.

On entering the venue, and walking to the standing area the families were told to exit the gate and re enter from gate number 2, they told the volunteers arranged by the organisers that they have been sent here from gate number 2, but they were replied that that the only gate for families.

Being a blogger, you expect the organisers which invite to facilitate you, we do need an active wifi link, a charging station at times, someplace where we can keep out gadgets, and have a view and tweet, blog, Instagram the event from. After asking a number of volunteers i realised they have not thought of it so we were out in the crowd with the common people.

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Now i don’t mind being with the common people but when you are there to cover the event, you do carry a lot of gadgets, in my case I had a huge camera, a wifi cloud, three power banks, my iPad, and my cell phones. Now juggling with all these devices and also securing a best viewpoint in a crowd which is coming from all sects of the city is not easy, actually its near to impossible.

Also at the event, we were each suppose to bring a bottle of Mountain Dew, sadly the management didn’t gave us a single trash can so it was not long that the venue got littered with the neon bottled of mountain dew almost every where.

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when the crowd started to grow, i saw a number of families, people with ladies in the men only section of the venue, they were very uncomfortable and were asking if there is a place they can sit or a way they could reach the family but they couldn’t.

when the announcements started to signal the beginning of the event every one rushed to the viewing area, which was at the same height as the runway for the bikes, so only those in the front few rows could see what was going on.

To make things worst, someone got a bright idea of tossing the trashed dew plastic bottles in the air, and within seconds we could see a number of bottles of Dew going up in the air and landing on the heads of of many, some even filled and they showered the drink on hundreds of people.

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This also made a lot of people run and quickly move away from the front. For a second i thought there going to be an stampede but thankfully nothing of that sort happened .

The performances started a little earlier, but sadly the large screen was not high enough, and the crowd was not allowing a good view, There not much to see besides the bikes when they were a the peak of their jumps.

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By this time, two hours after arriving at the venue, i decided to walk out, I couldn’t see the stunts properly, i was given no press release, no media kit and no detailed program schedule, plus i had no intentions to stay till the concert in this rowdy crowd.

This is the first time Pakistan has seen such an event, and i am happy that the organisation brought in mostly common people from the city so they could to enjoy something of this standard.

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The only thing is that the management should have seen  that their volunteers are well informed, and well in number. Secondly they should have made special arrangements for social media personals. There was a need of more food and drink booths, garbage disposal system, more and better people to guide and manage the crowd. If only some things would have been taken in consideration it would have become a memorable event for all of us.

I hope the Dew crew will learn ad will not make the same mistakes when they do such events in the other cities.

The Dew Action Event 

The valley of poisonous mushrooms

I am boggled, I am drained , and i am tired , i am on the verge of disowning the society in which i had always been a misfit, a society to which i tried to give so much,  but my efforts kept going to a waste paper basket, or rather a garbage shredder from which even the the tiny bits of the good i did were not retrievable and than to make it worst i was taken advantage of by a number of pseudo human right activists and that number made the majority, a dominating majority so strong that nothing good bypassed their vicious circles , they filtered everything milked it, juiced it, and only but filled their pit less pockets.

Than came the world of art, I thought this was a world of pure expressions, where people with greater visions will be expressing their concerns, where artists will be dipping their canvases to open to the larger truth but i was soon introduced to the grim reality. The expressions of the majority of the main stream, leading local artists were only but busy cashing into the sensations of today’s international popular believes. Their works are void of any emotional connection with their soul, they are utterly a product, produced to a formula, not to raise an issue or voice a concern, but only to serve the hunger for the sensation the world has to attract the buyers and cash into the exaggeration of a very shallow vision.

I found it suffocating to realist how the majority of the local art dealers and gallerist were making and breaking artists, manipulating and controlling the local art scene. Any one who would appose these lobbies and the bigwigs of this art world would never get a show in any leading gallery of the city, you rub them the wrong way and you as an artist are doomed, of-course unless you are rich and wouldn’t care if the local galleries allow you to show with them or not and you take your work abroad and make a mark internationally.

but then I see, although very few but honest artists, I realize  there will be a time when people will see how shallow and superficial the works produced from this region are , how in the name of “contemporary” was used to manipulated the international market. A work of art is like a book it reveals its secrets in layers with time, it will spell out every single truth, and when that happen the bubble will burst and we will are see a spectacular blue sky and bright sunshine which will wither to death this valley of poisonous mushrooms, the destroying angels of today art world and all the fool’s funnels among the social activists.

The valley of poisonous mushrooms

Society’s Fragile 5%

Blocking the beautiful view of the beach, is this huge building, with Dolmen Mall stamped on its face, i know its good looking but not as beautiful as the sea its self so to me its really ugly. Ugly also because the moment you enter this humongous shopping center the first thing you notice are these expensive brands popping their bright shiny face out of the glimmering boxes stacked one over the other. A shop selling this and a shop selling that, catering to the class which not even 5% of the whole country. To make it worst you will see shoppers holding the fancy little hand bags while their Filipino maids or worst a teenager child labor who are there to manage their naughty kids. but even more disturbing is the sight when you see families from the lower middle class visiting the shopper’s paradise. The kids from these families would be spotted taking rides on the escalators going up and down in the loop and ending up going no where but in circles, yes how typical that is of the lower middle class, isn’t it ?

For these poor visitors who want to take a sneak peak in the lives of the “elite” rich and the “successful ” of the society, the only place which seems affordable in this whole big shopping center is this spacious mighty super store named “Hyperstar’ . having seen it obviously many of them rush to this super market, where a number of products are highly priced as compared to those available around the city, but the story doesn’t end there, because today when i went there, and for the very last time (I Promise)  only to get some juice, i noticed at the counter them telling every customer that they are out of large shopping bags, so either they carry what ever they shopped for in tiny little shopping bags large enough to hold only two cans of soda, or they will have to buy a large plastic “Eco friendly” bag from them for Rs:50/- to carry the items they have bought decently out of the store.

For a country where economic graph has taken a downward dip, where unemployment is record high, people are struggling to keep up with the bread and butter of the family , and even stale bread seems to be costing a fortune, Do we need such snobbishly posh shopping centers, couldn’t we have recreational park there ( sorry the ones we have has nothing but grass to offer ) or an art center, or a public library, or maybe a theater but No to serve those mare 5%  of the whole society we had to built this castle of pure crystals, so the poor can feel more poorer, more undermined, more unwelcome and continue in slavery for another 200 years, while they forget they are a minority of the society they are very much a part of, they may be ruling today but once the table turn’s on them they are too fragile to face the reality.

Society’s Fragile 5%

The City I live in …

so this is what the city Karachi has come down to that i don’t even feel safe to go out to the store just a five minute walk away to get my self a loaf of bread. last year around the same time we were making trips to the interiors of Sindh for flood relief efforts lead by Sana Saleem. Our volunteers were roaming all around this city collecting donations and buying relief goods but this year we are hardly there on ground, doing only what we can do under the restricted mobility and access due to the law and order situation of the city.

Karachi which used to be buzzing with eid shopping activities is as quite as a ghost town. And no I don’t really ever shop for Eid my self, so it’s not really about shopping , it’s about those bright smile and joy of the up coming Eid on the faces of specially Kids , the bright smiles at the bangles stall or at the mehandi booth or at the shoe shops where kids tryout those crisp new shoes, of all sizes and all price ranges….

But this year those innocent eyes are not shining bright with joy, but they filled with fear and sorrow..

The City I live in …

“Rio – The movie” Comes to Karachi


I am not much of a movie fan so when I first got an invitation to go to the premiere of “Rio The Movie” I wasn’t too excited. “The red carpet, celebrates, Ooh it must be one of those glamor events I dread to go to ” were my first few thoughts. But then I thought “an animated movie can’t be that bad” and this one thought proved to be a life saver.

As I entered the Atrium Cinema a huge red carpet outside the box office accompanied by a pair of beautiful macaws were all there to give everyone a warm greet. I was very happy to see these amazing birds, with their huge beaks and colorful feathers, matching the characters on the posters of the movie. As I proceeded forward some cool celebrities came in my view and so the meet and greet session kicked off. I Met Sania Saeed after months, actually the last time was after her katha performance, she was there with her mother and her two little angels, also present there was Tapu who is a big fan of animated movies was also present at the event and could barely keep his excitement concealed. I also ran into Khalid Anam who was stressing the urgent need to put a curb on piracy, and how its eating away our talent and our media industry, and i couldn’t agree more. We also exchanged a few words about the commercialization of our main stream media and how TV channels don’t often think of the deeper social impacts of the programs they air but we both agreed that some quality programs are also on the spectrum, we departed with a promise to continue the discussion in greater depths some other day as the show was now about to start.

Punctuality was the first lessen people learned as the show started sharp at the scheduled time. The comfy chairs, pop corns to pop in and soda to wash them down, cell phones switched off, 3D glasses resting on my nose, and every thing was off my mind, I was now completely in another world, The world of a blue domesticated macaw, living in Minnesota, and around him the story spins.

I wouldn’t go into the details of the story line, but I tell you what the movie is truly so fascinating that you will completely be lost in the story, you will laugh with the characters, you will panic with them, you will jump off your seats in excitement, and you will certainly cry happy tears because its just the kind of movie the whole family will not only enjoy but it will also rub off a little on them leaving its impressions for quite a few days and i bet you would want to see it not just once but a number of times and yet you will enjoy it just like you enjoyed the first time you watched.

As the movie ended, I walked out of the cinema my mood was completely lifted, I found the two macaws on the red carpet, but now i looked at them as a pair of victims, bound in chains for some money, and that is one of the strong message the movie quite efficiently delivers. Who ever miss out on this movie will sure be missing a lot of fun. and i Must say since the Cinema are returning to us we must also give it a warm welcome and enjoy the experience more often. but for those of you who still prefer to watch the movie at home please buy original videos because piracy is theft and a crime.

“Rio – The movie” Comes to Karachi