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Mian Ijaz-ul-Hasan
■Year 1973
■Medium oil on canvas
■Size (cm)
Abstract tendencies were the mainstream of Pakistani art in the 1960s. Yet with the age of upheaval brought upon by the Independence War (1970) of Bangladesh, the former East Pakistan, cultured people such as artists and those involved in the film industry formed, in 1974, a group aimed at sending messages to the general public. The central figure of this group was this artist Mian Ijaz-ul-Hasan, who had been subject to the influence of the anti-Vietnam War movement during his stay in England. In this work, he depicts popular movie actress Fridoz in the very style of a film poster, and combines her with the image of a mother fighting in the Vietnam War. Here, the voluptuous female image sought by men is contrasted with the image of a woman seriously fighting. This work is also of much interest even when seen from the perspective of contemporary study on gender (social roles of men and women). Moreover, the image of the mother is painted in the style of a Vietnamese wood block prints the artist saw in a foreign magazine.
Heart Mahal
Durriya Kazi, David Elesworth, Iftikhar Dadi, Elizabeth Dadi
■Year 1996
■Medium steel panel, truck bumper, mirror, light, and others
■Size (cm)
"Heart Mahal" was exhibited in the 'Container 96' held in Copenhagen. This work was the product of a collaborative effort between three artists who had previously identified as sculptors, Durriya Kazi, David Alesworth and Elizabeth Dadi, and Iftikhar Dadi, an artist known for his works created with photography and computer, working with a team of craftsmen. These specialist craftsmen used their skills at lighting, steel panel work and painting to build the work from the ideas and drawings made by the four artists. The entrance decorated with vivid paintings is dimly lit, and once the viewer enters the work, a heart-shaped electric light blasts out directly in front of the viewer. The inside of the container is dazzling with lights reflected off of its lining of steel panels. The side panels of steel are decorated with flower patterns and motifs from everyday life - irons, shoes, and even Mickey Mouse. This space is at once lively and fun, and yet also evokes a sense of solemnity. The artists have created a temple, one that seeks to remove the barrier between art and popular culture.
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