The Space Within exhibition of Noor Ali Chagani, an internationally-acclaimed artist, is inaugurated at Tanzara Art Gallery in Islamabad.
The show features over twelve new works of sculpture, painting and installation dealing with issue of home and belonging. A graduate of the Lahore National College of Arts, Noor Ali uses his traditional miniature training to share his contemporary practice.
He combines both the high art of delicate miniature traditions passed down from the royal Mughal and Persian courts, with the art of ceramics and techniques of brick-making craftsmen, equally centuries old. He creates his own miniature terra cotta bricks by using old-fashioned kilns and firing methods.
The artist then applies tiny brush strokes to fluidly depict the imagery seen in the streets of his hometown. Most recently, Noor Ali has also begun in incorporating weaving of bricks into his production, further expanding on the formal possibilities of his techniques. Drawing on his personal experiences, his works explore questions of identity and represent his longing for stability in a sound house.
The brick is a unit that is used repetitively; it is a unit of strength, power and support. It talks about land ownership and possession. It shows a constant struggle between retaining one’s identity and yet blending with the masses. It also communicates the need to be a part of a strong organization.
Noor Ali creates various foundational structures such as a roof, floors, walls, stairs and pillars in addition to objects found in homes such as a mirror, a console, and books. “We spend our lives developing our own house. It’s partly the greatest dream of one’s life,” he said. He said that all the struggles, efforts, and savings are to accomplish this wish of building one’s own house.