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Artist Saddam Khan Murad grown up in the tribal areas of Swat hence his work reflected the politics that surrounds the region today in his current solo exhibition titled" Dyed in the Wool" at Sanat Gallery, Karachi.

The works portrayed his childhood experiences as well as present time. His figures were painted in realism, the monotone colour palette and fragmented application of the paint created a cubist appearance of the figures thus giving his paintings semi-abstraction.

He created visuals that seemed to fuse the subject with its surroundings. The semi-abstract approach opens his paintings for multiple narratives by the viewers. He achieved this visual effect by creating a rough textured surface on his canvas and applying paint through a layer of gauze, which resulted in an uneven application and a patched like appearance of his figurative paintings.

The figures mainly of males in a group or single portrayed the typical mind set of the tribal areas about the masculinity of men. This concept was so deeply ingrained from childhood that it formed a part of their psyche and identity.

It is customary and a tradition that men were suppose to be more powerful and head a household and separating genders in public and private spaces is a norm. This created a tense environment for both men and women thus both genders became confused and couldn't express properly their genuine emotions which were normal in the eyes of the world but they thought inappropriate because of the social restrictions. Hence they become confuse and their sincere desires turned into fear, and guilt.

The conservative attitude of people resulted in frustration in the society. Hidden in his abstract work he portrayed his observations of society, regarding race, gender, privacy, and the complexity of male-female interactions.

He expressed his feelings through fragmented images just like a puzzle because the minds of youth became tangled between their desires and social norms. The complication of the roles demanded by the society from both genders also plays a role in bewilderment of younger generation.

Ingrained societal norms dictate vastly different considerations of privacy for both genders and the consequences both face when these barriers are lifted. Thus people carry social values generation after generation without questioning or understanding their significance for the society as a whole.

It becomes difficult for an individual to cross the line because nobody actually knows where the line is. Thus everybody started to mark their own boundaries to match the demands of society and in this process the boundaries within boundaries started to suffocate people. The people become somewhat inferior, diffused, insignificant and unable to assert their prominence in society.

The sense of building the relationships lost somewhere in an effort to please the society. Each of the painting revealed the emotional and psychological barriers attached to physical and social interaction of both genders.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

the author

A notable journalist and art critic, Nadeem Zuberi, has persevered in carving a definition for the country's art over the years. Not only has he achieved that; but has also conjured interest of readers who are gradually transforming into keen connoisseurs of drawing, painting & sculpture.

For a catalytic treatment to his endeavor to instill amicable relationship between the artist and the esthete, Nadeem has been writing art columns for the Business Recorder, Weekly Pulse magazine and Nigaah Arts & Culture from South Asia magazine regularly.

As a seasoned art writer for numerous newspapers and journals, Nadeem has been proactive in keeping the readers abreast of the dynamic trends in the art world to enable pristine appreciation and meaningful evaluation for collectors.

In the wake of his illustrious contributions through the media, Nadeem has been successful in invoking renewed inspiration amongst tyro painters to rejuvenate their creative vision for acquiring a cognizable niche in the competitive art circle.