01 November, 2011

Sufism showcased in exhibition at Nomad Gallery

Art Exhibition: Colours of love and peace 

Islamabad – The challenges of the modern world maybe numerous, but through his vivid artwork, Mohsen Keiany, has offered simply one solution to diverse problems – the message of Sufis. In his latest exhibition at Nomad Art Gallery by Mohsen Keiany, a Britain based Irani artist, has used rich colours, and figures interwoven with poetry to convey the message of love, peace, and humanity to respond to the mounting challenges of extremism and racism all over the world. 

What makes Mohsen's paintings exceptional is the fact that along with vivid colours and figures, the artist has incorporated verses in Nastaliq. As the beautiful hues of blues, oranges, reds and yellows give a serene look to the paintings, the remarkable calligraphic work adds a mysterious touch to the artworks. The text though illegible, is Persian poetry by Hafiz, “I use Divan of Hafiz as the prophecy, which gives me guidance to answer my questions and gives me direction” maintains the artist.

A particularly beautiful painting by Keiany is titled ‘Spiritual Discussion’ and depicts a group of Sufis sitting around a small fire with a woman, and most of the figures in the painting are looking at one another, immersed in deep discussion. “The attention to detail given by Dr. Kieany is commendable while another noteworthy aspect is that he has managed to incorporate a musical instrument in nearly every painting” commented Nageen Hyat, curator of the Nomad Art Gallery. An equally beautiful painting ‘Narges’ is done in hues of orange, reds and yellows.

Mohsen Keiany was born in 1970 in the city of Shiraz, ancient city in southwest Iran, which has been historically renowned for its eminent poets and Sufi masters, most notably Hafiz Shirazi, Sheikh Saadi, Mansoor Hallaj and Baba Kohi. And this is perhaps the same city, the city having clustered building with domes which can be seen in Kieany’s artwork.

Most of the painting depicts several characters and various feelings in a single canvas thus narrating different stories to the viewers. Along with people, the paintings in oils, often illustrate horses and goats which shows the connection between nature and human beings.

The human figures particularly man, woman and children wear traditional Persian dresses, playing flute and sitar, seems to be ignorant to the world around and are perhaps in a trance which helps them achieve spirituality.

Historical and cultural influences of Persian era are quite evident in his paintings, which tell that Mohsen's inspiration mostly comes from Persian mythology, Sufi Mysticism, Persian architecture and Islamic art particularly traditional Persian miniature painting and the landscape of Iran.