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Cast in Metal

His inspirations range from Pakistan’s spiritual history to Hindu mythology and Buddhist civilisation.

His inspirations range from Pakistan’s spiritual history to Hindu mythology and Buddhist civilisation. “My objects demand to be made,and until they are,they haunt me,” says Pakistani artist Amin Gulgee. Son of eminent Pakistani artist Ismail Gulgee,the sculptor is returning to Delhi with a solo exhibition after six years. The solo,which will take place at the Nitanjali Art Gallery,is titled “Through the Looking Glass” and will comprise the Karachi-based artist’s latest set of works. “It features some of my most ambitious works,” notes the 48- year-old,about the collection where he works with materials most familiar to him – bronze and copper.

Among his recurring themes,which also appear in this set of work,is his fascination for the face,his own and his parents. So Me in the Matrix has 89 expressions of the artist cast in bronze and reassembled. “I’ve chopped,diced,rearranged my self-portrait. It’s therapeutic,” he says. If Perforated Wall II,Rosetta Stone — bronze panel on a black mount — is influenced by the ancient Egyptian Rosetta stone,the series “Cosmic Chapatti” depicts his love for geometry and patterns. He replicates the Mughal four garden design or Char Bagh in copper,steel,mirror and sand in the installation Char-Bagh II: Falling Leaves. “The Mughals created their own style of architecture in their gardens by combining the geometric Persian influence with the organic traditions of South Asia. This combination of the geometric with the organic is fascinating for me in the context of the garden. It’s also something both India and Pakistan have,” says the artist,whose parents were found dead in their home in 2007.

Putting behind the current tensions between the two nations,Gulgee hopes for an encouraging response from the Indian audience. “It was a tremendous experience last time. I’m hoping for it to be as good or even better,” he notes.

The exhibition will be on display at Galerie Romain Rolland,Alliance Francaise de Delhi,72,Lodhi Estate,from September 17 to 20. It moves to Nitanjali Gallery,C-66,Anand Niketan,from September 21 to 30

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First published on: 09-09-2013 at 05:59 IST
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