Sunday, 25 April 2010

TGH Photography Exhibition (DAWN article)

A Professional’s Touch

By Mahnaz Hasan

Capturing the world through the lens is all in a day’s work for a seriously hardworking Lahore amateur

Images have their own language. While the artist, transforms even the mundane into a work of art, the photographer uses images to communicate volumes to you — in a sweeping glance. As was the case during a recent exhibition at the Alliance Francaise, Lahore. Titled, One for the Road it was photographer Tahir Gul Hasan’s first solo exhibition.

Hasan, a self-starter in photography about thirty-five years ago, has refuse to embrace the discipline as a profession. He likes the freedom of being an amateur (Latin for “lover”), who can indulge in his other passions — music, writing and travel. He did, however, study the F/64 giants, the Magnum greats and the Surrealists, but drew his own conclusions and came up with his own perspective. One for the Road was the collection of street photography, which attracts him more than any thing else.

“I am only interested in capturing fragments of the ‘Inner Reality’ when they unfold before me,” explains Hasan. He prefers older equipment to the digital because he believes that “a dose of pain always yields creative gain” — which lends him a margin of creativity with a medium that has inherent limitations.

Tahir Gul Hasan’s exhibition (comprising forty-one exhibits) was a keen observation of the human condition, which he has converted into a story to be told. He appeared to pick out the human element in the spectacular and the sophisticated and present it against a pitch black background that not only lends a strong contrast to the image, but also boldly states his message, be it in the inherent abstraction and purity of black and white photography or in a playful splash of colour depicting interesting subjects.

While the Autumn in Paris, Shadow and its Butterfly and River Gilgit are brilliant examples of nature in its pure glory, the Eiffel Tower Toilettes, Old city/New city and The Wooden Bridge presented the mundane against the sophistication of modern day life.

His abstracts and still-life presentations are simple but beautiful in black and white as well as in colour. Star and Stripes, PIA No: 1, Flower and its Soul and Mad Cow at Ease displayed simple subjects with a fresh perspective, which only an amateur is perhaps capable of.

Hasan’s street portraits were the most interesting. No Jacket Required, Hubble-bubble and Boy in Trouble, Woodcutter’s Children, Lord of the Rings and Parts for Sale are brilliant examples of his rendition of the realities of ordinary existence, where he appears to be smiling at what he has captured — with the eye of a kindred soul.

One for the Road does not overwhelm your senses, as it is an uncluttered but creatively expert presentation of familiar mundane reality that you don’t have to spend hours to understand. The collection at the exhibition, was his favourite bests from his work so far — let’s watch out for more!

Reference:

For more on this exhibition, please read 'Pictures In My Mind' by Tahir Gul Hasan

21 comments:

  1. good stuff -

    so where is the pictures gallery for the mass to see?

    billy

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  2. A man of many worlds or just a drifter like me, Tahir.
    A true Anthonian spirit.

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  3. Welcome back Billy!
    The masses saw the collection for two weeks in a row--complete with TV interviews and the rest of it.
    Some insist that I must put the images up for sale on FaceBook or that website I left a while back. It's not a bad idea at all.
    :)

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  4. Careful now Brig. SSS; you blew two covers in one mission! But thanks for crawling through under the barbed wires.
    Being a renaissance man is more like it.
    :)

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  5. I never left, just tied up with stuff.

    showcasing on chokiii? that is not a good idea, but showcasing on fb, that is alright. speaking of choqii, I am done with it,closed that chapter, it's a waste of time.

    well you need to showcase online for atelast for us to see ... one pic with bench is not good !!! :)

    when is dxb on the menu again?

    B~

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  6. Chowq is now my foot-stool instead of a ladder. Just announcing something there does not mean I need it; the presence needs to be maintained.
    And who is 'us' nowdays, considering that individuals are chums with my enemies?
    I'll see if can post the same picture at a better resolution; this one is taken from Dawn's article. The rest I might sell through an art gallery.
    Regards.

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  7. so you want to sell your work?, is that a new 'paisa bachao' scenario, I think you don't need that. Don't sell your work - it's your creation not, something 'made in china'.

    I think you have taken this enemies thing too personally, it's internet, let it go.I don't think you have a comparison with others, you are way senior to know this. again, be cool and let it go.

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  8. I have no clue who you are but let me tell you that my work graces some people's houses where it matches just about any sofa or carpet.
    Each re-print was signed and sold to fans who found it worth having. And it gives me great pleasure to see that what I saw and captured on film, made others happy too. That 'Made in China' analogy doesn't work in my case because my work was NOT mass-produced in a factory.
    As for Chowq, certain people will not be forgotten for their sorry roles; the rest may gather their galantry awards directly from God.
    Regards.

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  9. it was me ... bilal, why sell your creations? if you feel pride in your work then just gift it, selling means you are selling IT. I don't think you are financially weak that you have to sell photographs now :), ok 'art' captured digitally.

    T-man, forget what happened at chowk, you need to move on, you will not be setting a good example for juniors with this useless vendetta. it's a playground, people come, play and leave. no one remembers afterwards, I suggest you do the same.

    Billy~

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  10. Must have been something for the ones who got to see..

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  11. Billy, I'm older. I know what to do with myself, be it writing, photography or whatever.
    Just selling art doesn't make one a sell-out. It's the sell-outs who are despicable.
    If I write a book and the publisher publishes thousands of copies, do I tell him that I need to gift them to the fans?

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  12. What happened during those two weeks of the exhibition requires a whole blog. Yes, it was most wonderful and memorable.

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  13. Where can i see the rest of the pictures? Why should we be deprived of the entire collection?
    You are what you write: social, political, witty and musical. yes you are ............

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  14. writing book is different, that is like a 'profession', the rozi roti for the writer, we all know when art goes into mass-production, it kills the creative genes as the attention turns towards the commercialism side of it.

    for you, photography is a hobby,not a profession, unless you retire from ur current job and take it up as profession like zaidi and tapu javeri.

    I would never sell my stuff taken as hobby,even when EP & Jal Admins were asking me to do that back in the days (cause I turned out some stuff for them and they wanted to sell it), though I am the best at what I do,which is, minuplation-art, but it's a hobby. no more, no less.

    did you upload your work on facebook or photobucket?

    Bilal~

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  15. 'S', welcome to the special room!
    Thanks for the generous compliments; I have a large collection of those now.
    As for "Where can i see the rest of the pictures? Why should we be deprived of the entire collection?", I did broadcast the entire thing using this old data transmission technology called Eye-Link, but you might have been busy looking elsewhere.

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  16. Calm down Bilal, I can afford to keep silent about many things in life.
    My work might be up for sale, but I am not.

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  17. did I say you were? & yes I can afford the same as well :)

    so is it going online for viewing or what? ETA?

    Bilal~

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  18. I am going through it so late..Why....?

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  19. Nobody should know everything!

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  20. Great review... I hope you have many more exhibitions...

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  21. Thanks JB! I've been exhibiting myself for a long time, now it's my work that must suffer! :)

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