The opening of an exclusive art exhibition displaying the Paintings of Momin Khan and Shaista Momin took place at ARTCITI Gallery.
For an ongoing project titled ‘Gradually/We Became Aware/Of a Hum in the Room’, Rodman set up a triangular structure in the middle of a Californian desert. The three identical rooms of this single-storeyed, pie-slice building all contain a perfectly circular window each, allowing three different views of the ascetic landscape. It is remarkable how much your perception of the world can change with a change in the shape of a window. It was as if the sky turned bluer, the boulders thicker and rounder and more contentious for your attention, the foliage brighter and thornier as it forced itself into your vision – and all because you looked out at the dry desert world through a round window. The world was summarised for you and you were offered the choicest bits.
Momin Khan, identified as an ‘artist of movement’ he is renowned for his dynamic portrayal of Buzkashi, frosty mountainous team-sport played by equally toughened men. Holding that the subject had movement, expression, force and power Momin reveals: “I transform my inner tumult onto canvas through this theme”.
Momin also paints women in a unique way. Like many other artists his woman is neither pretty nor delicate; her eyes let know the account of a thorny existence as shades narrate the infinite facades of her being. Though he has a high regard for the works of a number of artists, in the Pakistani art milieu he looks up to Zain-ul-Abideen. Momin said that he did not paint much and being his own critic never exposed any work until absolutely convinced.
Shaista Momin comments on her work:
“In my paintings, the elements seen with the women are in a way related to or are a symbol of freedom of speech and the desire to be free for example a pigeon or a flute. While the jewelleries are those chains which give a woman the deception of beauty but in reality are restricting them from being free in our society. The women that I draw reflect the pain of slavery that
they have been bearing from centuries through their eyes. My medium is acrylic on canvas and I do it in a reverse process. That is, first I spread the paint and texture and from that I draw a form. It is just like creating a sculpture from stone. I get pleasure of doing work in this style and people like it and now this style has become my identity.”
The exhibition at ARTCITI concluded in April, 2017. It attracted a number of art lovers, especially those interested in viewing the artwork of Momin Khan and Shaista Momin, the paintings leave a lasting impression on the viewers; to some it would appear to be a déjà vu while others would find it an absorbing experience.