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Abid Aslam's inimitable ideas and concepts transformed into paintings in a solo exhibition titled "Sitaron Se Aage" (Beyond the Stars) at Sanat Gallery, Karachi. His body of work showed his determination and commitment towards his work. His experimental artwork engaged viewers in different ways. Viewers felt a unique visual experience while observing his artworks from near and far. Because both close-up view and distant view give people separate concept about the painting.

He used pointillism technique - a late 19th century painting style in his paintings in his own way to create visual effects that supported his subject. In pointillism style of painting a picture is constructed from dots of pure colour that blend, at a distance, into recognizable shapes and various colour tones but here Abid used punching tools and eyelets along with colours to create holes instead of dots that created the image in the same way as in pointillism.

He very skilfully and keenly worked on his paintings and achieved his desired results by using various colour tones at regular intervals. The distance between the dots helped him creating rhythm in each painting in a different way. The eyelets also served as texture and a background that hold the whole painting.

His visual concepts emerged from both miniature painting and photography. And over the years he has evolved a distinct style of his own within the contemporary art. In the current series of work he tried to find spiritual fulfillment from the celestial bodies such as moon and stars.

He became fascinated how moon regulates its cycle and in fourteen days becomes a full moon from a crescent and again in another fourteen days becomes a crescent from a full moon. And the stars also twinkle some bright while others dim enhancing the moon's spiritual position.

Elaborating his works Abid said, "Sitaron Se Aage (I - XIV), the fourteen days moon progression series is actually a resonance of the celestial pattern taking shape over a course of time......an ethereal phenomenon that exists in nature." A painting titled "Another Moon" showed the total lunar eclipse when the earth moves between the sun and the moon and cuts off the moon's light and as a result moon becomes reddish in colour glowing

like a fire ball instead of becoming black like night without stars. He wanted to understand the mysteries of nature that people experience day in and day out but never bother to watch closely themselves how nature work and respond to the changes occurred in the universe. In order to achieve his goal he used silver leaf and gold leaf to represent moon and sun in his works. Through miniature techniques he painted the stages of sun and moon while rotating on their paths since time immemorial.

He felt spiritual connection with these celestial bodies. Just as the wind whispers the light from the Sun, the moon and stars fascinated him and spoke to him in whispers. He tried to define the close relation of living bodies on earth and these heavenly bodies in the sky. The artworks titled "Pattern Into Pattern (I & II)" showed geometric patterns in gold converting into stars based on the calligraphic impressions mostly used in artworks on holy sites thus he gave an aesthetic appearance to his works.

A series of five paintings titled "Units (I - V)" have oval shaped structures in various colours as if millions of stars were present in a single sphere. (The writer can be reached at [email protected])

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018


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