Manifestations of Social Realism Across Diverse Forms of Pakistani Art

Munazzah Akhtar, Sarah Javed Shah, Rabia Ahmed Qureshi

Abstract


Social Realism, an artistic movement introduced in the second quarter of the twentieth century, influenced an entire generation of artists all over the world. It explores the themes ranging from poverty to anti-state demonstrations, and from depictions against imperialism to class inequality, gender oppression and social injustice. Elements of social realism are not surprising to encounter in the Pakistani art world, considering the ideals of the style and the turbulent history of the country since its independence in 1947. Pakistani artists have always been sensitive to the social and political issues of the country, which have somewhat become fragments of its identity, especially as ascertained by the western gaze. Women’s persecution and social exclusion is one such subject that has become an identifier for Pakistan, although a human development report of the United Nations recognizes the country having better gender equality than neighboring India. Nevertheless, women oppression is also a theme that has often been explored by the profound Pakistani artists, using diverse approaches and media. The aim of this paper is to show how artistic works produced by different Pakistani artists are sometimes metaphorically, formalistically and symbolically connected in their concepts, drawing on the social realistic subject of gender oppression.

The paper begins with briefly introducing the contemporary art of Pakistan and its diverse focuses. Subsequently, it juxtaposes two artistic works, produced decades apart and apparently using disparate forms: poetry and visual art. The poem titled “Mere dard ko jo zuban miley” (1972) by modern revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (d. 1984), and the digital art series titled “The Veil” (2004) by contemporary artist Rashid Rana (b. 1968), are compared for this purpose. The objective is to demonstrate that although both these works appear distinct, in time and nature, yet they are covertly united by their theme, that is, of personifying subjugated women, and their conceptual frameworks. The paper formally analyzes both works; deconstruct their structures, meanings and connotations, and ultimately establishes an ekphrastic relationship between the two.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Mirza, Quddus (2009). "Zia's Long Reach". Himal South Asian. Retreived on April 2013 http://himalmag.com/component/content/article/618-zias-long-reach.html

Shapiro, David (1973). Social Realism: Art as a Weapon, New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing.

Dadi, Iftikhar (2006). Miniature painting as Muslim cosmopolitanism, ISIM Review 18. pp. 52-53.

Chughtai, Muhammad Abdullah Rehman & Cousens, James Henry (1928). Muraqqa-i-Chughtai: Selected Master Paintings of M.A. Rehman Chughtai. Lahore: Jahangir Book Club.

Dadi, Iftikhar (2010). Modernism and the art of Muslim South Asia, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Ahmad, Salman (2011). In Memoriam: Art without Borders. Retrieved on March 2013 from http://dawn.com/2011/03/06/in-memoriam-art-without-borders/

Nasar, Hammad (2007). Beyond the Page: Contemporary Art from Pakistan. (Exhibition catalogue), London: Asia House.

Malik, Hafeez (1967). The Marxist Literary Movement in India and Pakistan. Journal of Asian Studies 26.4.

Hashmi, Alamgir (1978). Some directions of contemporary Urdu poetry in Pakistan: From 1965 to the present. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies

Coppola, Carlo (1989). Faiz Ahmed Faiz: An Introduction, Poetry East.

Narodin (2012). Faiz - Between Romance and Revolution. Retreived on March 2013 from http://beta.bodhicommons.org/article/faiz-between-romance-and-revolution

Hashmi, Salima (2009). Hanging Fire: Contemporary Art from Pakistan. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Rana, Rashis (2011, September) Interview by Christopher Lydon. Retrieved on Jan 2013 from http://www.radioopensource.org/rashid-ranas-pakistan-a-mini-version-of-the-globe/

Mirza, Quddus (2010). Rashid Rana: A World Apart. Mumbai: Chatterjee & Lal, Asia Art Archive.

Black, Max (1977). More about Metaphor, Dialectica 31, vol 3‐4, pp 431-457.

Arif, Iftikhar (2011, September) "Faiz Ahmed Faiz – The relevance of his poetry today". Seminar: Faiz Ahmed Faiz – Centenary Celebration, Speakers Biographies and Abstracts, SOAS, University of London. Retreived on April 2013 from http://www.soas.ac.uk/centresoffice/events/framingmuslims/faiz-ahmed-faiz-centenary-celebration-speakers-biographies-abstracts.html

Hassan, Khalid ed. (1988). The Unicorn and the Dancing Girl: Poems of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, New Delhi: Allied Publishers.

Faiz, Faiz Ahmed (1978). Sham-i-shahr-i-yaraan. Lahore: Maktabah-i-Karvan.

Mumtaz, Muhammad (2013). Status of women in Pakistan. Pak Observer. Retrieved on Feb 2013 from http://pakobserver.net/201301/06/detailnews.asp?id=190254

Sharma, Aradhana (2010). India is worse than Pakistan on gender equality. The Times of India. Retrieved on March 2013 http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-11-05/india/28243298_1_maternal-mortality-india-ranks-pakistan

Watt, Diane (2011). From the streets of Peshawar to the cover of Maclean's Magazine: Reading images of Muslim women as currere to interrupt gendered Islamophobia. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing

Rana, Rashid (2011), Art and culture is the antidote to intolerance. Creative Times. Retrieved on March 2013 from http://www.creativetimes.co.uk/articles/rashid-rana-art-and-culture-is-the-antidote-to-intolerance

Heffernan, James A. W. (2004). Museum of Words: The Poetics of Ekphrasis from Homer to Ashbery, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Prendergast, Monica (2004). Ekphrasis and inquiry: Artful writing on arts-based topics in educational research. Second International Imagination in Education Research Group Conference, Simon Fraser University.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim (1853). Laocoon: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry, Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Chaves, Jonathan (2004). Heaven My Blanket, Earth My Pillow: Poems from Sung Dynasty China by Yang Wan-Li. New York: White Pine Press.

Lee, Rensselaer W. (1940). Ut Pictura Poesis: The Humanistic Theory of Painting. Art Bulletin, pp. 197-269

Faiz, Ahmed Faiz (1981). Mere Dil Mere Musafir. New Delhi: Shāhīn Buk Sanṭar.

Sadequain, (1979). Bol ke lab azad hain tere, Collection of Delhi Art Gallery. Retrieved March 2013, from http://www.delhiartgallery.com/artists/artists_artwork.aspx?artid=647

Bichitr (1615-1618). Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings. Collection of Freer Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Retrieved March 2013. from http://www.asia.si.edu/explore/worlds-within-worlds/zoom/jahangir-preferring-sufi-shaykh-to-kings.asp

Qureshi, Imran (2009), Moderate Enlightenment. Private Collection, Venice. Retrieved on March 2013 from http://www.1fmediaproject.net/2011/09/18/

Rana, Rashid (2002). I Love Miniature. Collection of British Museum, London. Retrieved on March 2013 from http://www.radioopensource.org/rashid-ranas-pakistan-a-mini-version-of-the-globe/

Rana, Rashid (2004). Veil I, II & III. Private Collection. Retrieved on March 2013 from http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/artpages/rashid_rana_veil_group.htm

Rana, Rashid (2007). Veil IV. Private Collection at Hong Kong. Retrieved on March 2013 from http://www.artvalue.com/image.aspx?PHOTO_ID=2254166






Copyright (c) 2020 Pakistan Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Powered By KICS