Yaounde, Cameroon Africa. (Cameroon News) – Artists from Cameroon were shining par excellence at the exhibition ‘Imagining Cities: A South-South Dialogue’ held at the Amin Gulgee Gallery in Karachi.
If you want to take out a list of displays where expectations go skyrocketing and you get blown over by the beauty of not just the painting but the idea behind it then you would have to say that this one has definitely got to be in it.
The city of Karachi was graced by the golden chance to have hosted such an exhibition and Monday night here was lit up by an overwhelming display of three core mediums of photography, light and sound where connoisseurs of beauty had the time of their life viewing the majestic display improved and enriched by new media at the exhibition ‘Imagining Cities: A South-South Dialogue’ held at the Amin Gulgee Gallery.
The exhibition showcased the talent of an eclectic combo of artistes that comprised of both famous as well as upcoming artists from Pakistan and around 20 artists who had flown in all the way to Karachi from Africa. There were around 50 of them in all 30 from Pakistan and 20 from Africa.
The exhibition was conceptualized out of the synergy between Space for Pan African Research and Knowledge (SPARCK) and the Amin Gulgee gallery, and from the very first display showcased it was a treat for the eye and the mind.
Clay lamps that were lit up to lead the guests from the doorway to the first piece of art lent an air of serenity to the whole exhibition and there was visual exhibit with its dancing silhouettes light at the entrance which was where the tour starts off.
A point-of-view (POV) visual of riding a bicycle seemed so ethereal but that was just an indicator of the visual treat that was to follow.
The theme of the exhibition was a walk into the depths of the urban cultures of the South and the photographs displayed literally forces the viewer to think as they offer brief yet vivid portrayals of life in a metropolis where it is showcased in both groups and in isolation providing the viewer a chance to look at the objects and images that the urban life is comprised of in a totally different light.
The photographs went out of the way to remind the viewer of the commonness as well as similar issues that cities and city dwellers face right from Karachi to Kampala and the pieces of art that best exploited the endless possibilities of the new age media left the audience truly speechless in wonder. Visual depictions, short descriptions, installations, transient architecture, projections, et al were not just mesmerizing but also though provoking as far as setting up a South-South dialogue goes.
Similar to the metros that are in a continuous process of development and change the photographs also carried a breath of life in them almost as if they were flesh and blood transporting the viewer into a totally different world moving them through a kaleidoscope of emotions, feelings and sensations.
The photographs while capturing the images seemed to have also captures the life in those minutes that showcased the cities and the people who live in them, in a bid to explore the traditions, practices and culture that weaves the social framework on which these cities and societies rest.
Some of the remarkable pieces on display were the throngs of joy that gives you a real feel of Fun-Land and takes you back to your days of being an innocent child that was showcased in Madhia Aijaz’s (Karachi, Pakistan) animation ‘Belong’ or the deep sense of exhilaration that only sports fans can feel depicted in the video ‘ZakiFoot’ by Doktorose who had come in all the way from Douala, Cameroon indicated that the exhibition was not just about fun and happiness.
Yet another exhibit from Cameroon that caught the eye of the viewers and gained tremendous appreciation was the ‘Fire’ by artist Malam Essoua (Douala, Cameroon) who had portrayed the more serious and not so nice aspects of survival.
Imagining Cities is an outcome of a venture that aims at showcasing unknown artists from faraway lands , and the exhibition put up in Karachi is their first stop in a tour that will see the exhibiting visiting much bigger and prominent cities of the world like Sharjah, Los Angeles, and Paris among a host of other cities.
It is also to be noted that SPARCK follows a principle of not accepting any money from the artists who showcase their works in their exhibition be it in the form of commission or percentage from the sale of their exhibits.
Their only motive is to provide these lesser known artists a venue where their work can be displayed to secure world-wide appreciation and recognition while taking care not to lose out on the sustainability of their initiative. At present, the Africa Centre is offering them just about assistance to convene such events, be it on a bare minimum spending.
This is making it increasingly important that more organizations and individuals come forward and provide this highly innovative social organization a helping hand, as the venture that it has currently flagged off deserves special mention and importance since it could be used to play a very important role in developing the future of our societies.
Artists from lesser known countries of Africa are also getting a chance to showcase their talents in the biggest cities of the world which is definitely an opportunity they should not forsake.