A solo exhibition of the latest artwork of painter-teacher Hussain Chandio opened at Nomad gallery on Saturday, showcasing over 20 big and small paintings done in acrylic on canvas.
The paintings depict the life, hardship and struggle of the people of Tharparkar. All the characters – women in movement expressing their joy (the dance series) and faqirs in (malang series) dancing in ecstasy symbolises the rich, diverse and spiritual life of Sindh, known as the land of mystics and Sufis.
The unending journey of women and the myriad in the desert in the ‘journey’ and ‘thirst’ series is a strong comment and depiction of the miseries of Thari women and their resilience.
Brazilian ambassador Claudio Lins who inaugurated the exhibition titled, “The Beautiful Land” appreciated the artwork and said “Chandio is a talented artist who is inspired by diverse and vibrant colours of Pakistan and its people.”
The angles using which he has portrayed figures, their movement and the vibrant colours are very striking that add a rare abstract element to his work, commented Mr Lins.
“His characters are full of life and feeling; the depiction of a rural ambiance, women and malangs dancing, working, or playing games gives a complete picture of the rural life of Sindh to those who have not visited the area,” the ambassador said.
His paintings unveil the enormous beauty of everyday life of Sindh, the ambassador said, adding “he has skilfully captured the movement in magic moments.” Only he has the secret for choosing the right moment and the surprising aerial angle, he added.
Chandio’s paintings reflect the local as well as universal realities of life very well, said Mr Lins.
There seems to be a very special affinity between his work and Nomad, Mr Lins commented, appreciating the efforts of Nageen Hyat, the director of the gallery, who according to the ambassador is much more than a first-rate curator, an idealist, an activist promoting good causes in Pakistan, be it social change or women empowerment.
“The artist has shown the colourful life of Pakistan, happiness and optimism,” commented Michel Galopan, General Manager of Serena Hotel who is an art lover and frequent visitor of the gallery.
“The aerial view and colours used by the artist is amazing,” commented Ms Anna Ivanicvich, wife of Argentinean ambassador, which was also seconded by miniature artist Najmul Hassan Kazmi.
Curator and the gallery director Nageen Hyat said Chandio portrays rural women or daily life and people in movement seen from unusual angles. This draws us deeper into his vision, much more than if the experience were static and one-dimensional.
Chandio modestly mentions Warren Keating, the American artist whose work is also based on aerial view, as an inspiration, as well as the poetry of the great poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
According to Chandio, “The matchless beauty of the human face is what Faiz once proclaimed to be uncontrollable. My basic inspiration comes from Faiz’s poetry. He makes the faces important with his words. I humbly try to create faces, hoping they would become immortal through my efforts.”
Mr Chandio told Daily Morning Mail he is working on ‘Tharparkar series’ to depict the social issues like lack of electricity, education, health and road infrastructure facilities in the desert district of Sindh.
Mr Chandio has participated in participated in eight solo and over 25 group shows in Pakistan and abroad including US, England, UAE, and Singapore. It is his second show in Islamabad. His first solo exhibition was held at Gallery6 in 2015.
He has taught at the Center of Excellence in Art and Design, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, Army Public School and College, Thatta, Sindhi Language Authority, Hyderabad.
“There is beauty in everything around us. The only thing is how we see them. Sometimes, the beauty of life stops us in our tracks and arrests us,” he commented, adding in my humble way, I try to capture this beauty on canvases.
“I paint ordinary people of Sindh where I have seen great beauty. I see their beauty and rich colours in everyday life. I have painted them in all moods and activities,” he said.
My canvas is in different moods in different compositions and in colours with pattern design elements of my land, Mr Chandio commented.