06 January, 2011

‘Two Folds’ depict Fear and Greed

Sana Jamal

Islamabad—Two miniature artists used traditional methods in their artwork to depict human emotions, greed and fear show two sides of the same coin. The paintings exhibition titled ‘Two Folds’ opened at Rohtas Art Gallery in Islamabad on Wednesday. The exhibition includes eight art pieces by Noor Ali Chagani and twelve artworks by Quratulain Shams.

Using gouche on vasli, both the artists have used different themes to signify the insecurities of human nature. Chagani, a Karachi based artist has used minimum colours to depict a life full of materialism and desire to own things. While Quratulain, Lahore-based has used rich colours to portray the fragility of moments.

The desire of a common man to have a beautiful house has been brilliantly painted by Artist Noor Ali Chagani who calls himself a simple man. The bricks symbolize the desire for a bigger house and “show the constant struggle between retaining one’s identity and yet blending with the masses” held the artist. It also communicates the need to be a part of a strong organization. It talks about the struggle to fit in, making a place for oneself in a system.

Natasha Iqbal, the curator of the gallery explained the symbolism in the art pieces since both the artists were not present to discuss the nature of their artwork with art lovers of the city.

The paintings of Quratulain Shams titled ‘Security’ and ‘Disguised’ by Quratulain expressed the greedy nature of man which make him fearful in turn that their possessions might get stolen. ‘My work revolves around themes of fragility and sensitivity, the distinctive feature about my work is that I always want to paint ‘moments’’ read the message by artist.

Quratulain’s work finely captures the before and after state of any subject, for instance ‘Little While’ represent the moment before and ‘Little While 2’ after the bubble has been burst. She is a trained miniature painter and a graduate of National College of Arts in 2009 who has made an effort to explore the colourful culture and traditions of miniature paintings to give it a new dimension in her paintings.


Artist Chagani’s work mostly revolves around his obsession with architecture. ‘I am influenced by very ordinary buildings due to their linear and cubical forms. There are some other elements which are seen in my work, like tools, currency, name plates etc’.

In ‘Untitled’ 10 by Chagani has painted a 100-rupee note with outline portray of Quaid-e-Azam leaving him completely faceless which represent our lost identities in pursuit of greed.