Gilgit - Baltistan

“Eye Light” creates ripples in the capital

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Shahina Maqbool

Recognised for his expertise in non-toxic printmaking techniques, Aleem Dad Khan left an indelible imprint on the sensibilities of Islamabad’s art admirers with a truly absorbing collection of monotype prints, which went on display for public viewing at Khaas Gallery here on Wednesday.

The show is titled ‘Eye Light’ and is heavily inspired by the cultural experiences of the artist during his residency at the famous Swansea Print Workshop in the UK, where he started off by expanding his skills, and ended up sharing them with others as a teacher. He participated in the Pakistan Print-Makers Exchange Programme and the Festival of Muslim Cultures in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

Taking to ‘The News’ at the exhibition’s opening, Aleem shed light on the show’s title: “Eye is synonymous to I, as a person, and to what I see around me. I seek harmony in repetition. Through my work, I have tried to understand everything I experienced; not just on the surface but on a level where I became who I am — a wanderer, a diasporite.” 

Aleem said he cannot work on one theme, which is why most of his images do not compare with each other. “I have tried to print self-observed scenarios of how I, as a Pakistani, saw myself in the western society; and how I felt coming out of a functional structure to one that was chaotic,” he explained. 

Interestingly, only a few of Aleem’s prints involve the use of a press; he has mostly relied on old photographic techniques, and the use of spoons and screen to obtain the desired effect. He uses woodcut, collagraph, etching, and chine-colle, a special print-making technique in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. One purpose is to allow the printmaker to print on a much more delicate surface, such as Japanese hand-made paper, which Aleem has used. Another purpose is to provide a background colour behind the image that is different from the surrounding backing sheet. Again, Aleem has used chine-colle to serve as a backdrop for a majority of his prints. The technique enables the artist to achieve colour without actually applying it. 

Aleem also draws inspiration from his birthplace Hunza. His work is richly flavoured and involves the use of a variety of natural materials which establish a dialogue with the viewer. The artist completed his Bachelors in Fine Arts from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2002, and is currently teaching both at the NCA’s Rawalpindi campus, as well as at the Fatima Jinnah Women University. The exhibition, which offers 43 prints grouped as 28, will continue till November 10. SOURCE

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  1. Dear Aleem,
    It gives me immense pleasure to know your profound achievements in a very short span of time.
    Accept my heartiest congratulations and keep it up !!!!!!


  2. Congrets Aleem for your outstanding work in the field of Art, we are really proud of you for representing us in the Capital of Pakistan. Praying for your great success in your future assignments. Keep it up…………

    Almaty Kazakhstan

  3. Dear Aleem
    Great achivement you have done, it can be a motivational tool for our comming genration, and it is new field to invest and genrat fund. keep it up. Many many congrates from my side.
    with best wishes

  4. Dear Aleem,

    Sorry for not making it to the venue. Very many thanks for inviting, anyway.

    From Shahina Maqbool’s reporting it sounds that your presentation has gone very well with the art lovers of the capital city Islamabad.

    Not qualified though to offer any comments on the exhibition and the art form you specialize in, but let me say that you have made us all very proud with the achievements, so early in life.

    We expect and pray for even a brighter future, full of successes and international acclaim.

    God speed!

  5. Wonder full Dude!!!

    We want to see creating new and making difference and going up and up.
    Lot of Prayer for your success!!!!!!!!

  6. one who achieves Great from Gilgit-Balitistan, is a matter of pride for the region!!the one who achieves high makes us proud! it shows that we have enermous talents in the far flung mountainous region,which has not its fully acceptance in the country, but this sort of break throughs are exactly paving the rough and bumby tracks for the youths to walk,fueling the passions for more accomplishments! and boasts the morals ,that is right the leading factors toward creativity in realy sense!
    the title its self is touching and catchy..superb work!
    you made us proud! Aleem sahib!.many many warm congratulations and prayers for more success in your life.
    MirzaW ISB

  7. Great !!!!

    Realy amazing …….

    Accept my heartiest congratulations, work and keep it up ………………


  8. Dear Aleem

    I never realized that you could make non-toxic prints, but was always sure about you toxic fumes.

    Anyhow congratulation for creating such a waste in such a short span of time, philosophically speaking; “You are an utter failure of God, but we are condemned to choose artesticles like you.”

    Keep wasting your time.

    Aziz Ali Dad
    Haji Hotel (But was in London earlier)

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