Wooden stick installment (L), plaster installment showing socks (R)
Wooden stick installment (L), plaster installment showing socks (R)

As the year draws to an end, it's time for art students to unveil their thesis work to the public. At the Department of Visual Studies at the University of Karachi this week, students specializing in fields like Graphic Design, Textile, Industrial, Architecture and Media Arts showcased their talents in a grand display.

Some striking work from the Fine Arts department:

Tracing footsteps

In this plaster piece the artist shows importance of family unit — Photo by author
In this plaster piece the artist shows importance of family unit — Photo by author

One graduate, Rukhsana, who juggled a job, studies and married life, used the concept of 'footsteps' to denote the time she spent commuting between her workplace, varsity and home.

Laid back feet show togetherness after a hard day— Photo by author
Laid back feet show togetherness after a hard day— Photo by author

Then, she used plaster and thread to create sculptures out of limbs. One of them symbolised her family unit because family comes first for her. Pairs of feet in the corner also represented today's lifestyle, in which she is unable to spend as much time with her loved ones as she would like.

Thinking about thoughts

Structure of mind depicted through claywork. — Photo by author
Structure of mind depicted through claywork. — Photo by author

Mujtuba Asif's clay pieces took various shapes to observe an event and its relationship between the tangible and intangible. They also appeared to speak about the confusion in the human mind.

Journey of life — a rocky road

Landscape drawn on pebbles— Photo by author
Landscape drawn on pebbles— Photo by author

Mariya Rehan revisited one of the oldest themes in the arts – the highs and lows of life – using natural imagery such as mountains, rocks and boulders. Mariya paints pebbles to show the lessons one learns from hard times.

Collision of man vs nature — Photo by author
Collision of man vs nature — Photo by author

She had also put up an interesting installment on the floor, which resembled an earthquake-struck structure, but was meant to show the interaction of human life and nature.

Soapy not sloppy — preserving memories on soap

Soaps with photographic memories — Photo by author
Soaps with photographic memories — Photo by author

While it's conventional to preserve memories in diaries or photographs, artist Sabahat Aqueem prefers soap. Explaining the idea, she said that since soaps are used for cleansing, placing memories in them can help an individual to get rid of disturbing or unwanted thoughts.

Connecting the dots

Omniscient relationships and dots — Photo by author
Omniscient relationships and dots — Photo by author

Exploring the concept of how we're always judged in comparison to something else, artist Farhan Surani used wood to create a large installment based on the dot game. He said children learn various things like the shape of the alphabet by connecting dots on a paper, but that most people produced the same result every time. His project, on the other hand, showed how everyone connected dots differently if asked to join them in whichever form they like.

Elements of life and Rumi

Combing the four elements through painting — Photo by author
Combing the four elements through painting — Photo by author

Islamic Arts graduate Alveena Asif used Rumi's concept of the universe existing within an individual. She used the colours of the four elements – earth, water, fire and air – to create her work. Red (fire and earth) represented warmth, blue (water) represented peace, while green (air) represented intellect.

Graphic design

Graphic design graduates' projects ranged from websites to mobile apps. Some of the most striking ideas were 'Woman Up!' — a project about curbing street harrasment, 'Safe Childhood — Book Pack' about protection against child sexual abuse, 'Ehsaas Karein' for mental illness awareness and 'Elaaj.com' for easy accessibility to authorised doctors .

Media Arts

As the film industry switches into full gear, it's good to see that many talented young directors are ready to bolster its rise.

Thesis films not only impressed with powerful acting and scripts, but also did justice to the demands of cinematography.

Continuing till tomorrow, the following are the short films presented before the audience this year:

1. Bohat Badi Film

Directed by Ali Raza Soomro, the film is about a man who cons his ex only to end up at a mental institution following an accident... but will his tactics help him escape this time round?

2. Pairahan

Bearing semblance to one of Manto's short stories, Pairahan, directed by Arsala Tahir, weaves a tale of a poor father and son who work hard to make ends meet, but there's a catch. Both do the same job without knowing the other does it too!

3. Speechless

Using symbolism, Speechless explores life of a photojournalist who is murdered after he moves into a town named Sardpur. Directed by Ammar Zafar, the film is based on dystopian fiction.

4. Intezaar

Ayesha Mirza's Intezaar is based on Manto's drama of the same name whose basic premise is the inner conflict of the protagonist as he waits for his beloved's return.

5. Gulabi Pajama

Farah iftikhar's short film is about a dhaba-wala's thirty seconds of fame, and the role of his PJs in the event.

6. Fittay Muh

A story of a good-for-nothing man sent to deliver a jar of pickles to Rahim Yar Khan, Fittay Muh follws him as he mistakenly enters Karachi and loses the jar. Fittay Muh, directed by Sadia Sarfaraz, is sure to draw many laughs.

7. Covered Story

After learning that the heart transplanted to him will cease to function within 15 days, the short film by Syed Bilal Shah takes the viewers through his journey to seek revenge from the person who has led him to the transplant.

8. Naira

Shanum Sohail's short film is a psychological take about a woman's life as she goes through various phases of life but the question remains, does she really go through them?

9. Extinct

Based on the famous debate of science versus nature, the screening's only sci-film is about an inventor father and his son who saves beings from extinction.

10. Jhoolay Laal

Bagging the top position this year, Syed Hasan Ali's short film is a moving account of two ailing men whose families pay attention to them solely when it's time to collect their pension sum. The film follows the journey of the protagonist in search of freedom from his own home.

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