Saray Jahan Mein Dhoom Hamari Zubaan Ki Hai

* Mahmood has written Urdu in Persian and Roman English scripts in an overlapping design

LAHORE: Tongue in Cheek – artist Shoaib Mahmood’s latest exhibition opened at the Drawing Room Art Gallery on Monday. The artwork, a reflection of what the artist has seen and observed in society, delighted art enthusiasts with its imagery and artistic beauty.Language

Mahmood has used two statements that have been ingeniously written in his artwork: ‘Saray Jahan Mein Dhoom Hamari Zubaan Ki Hai’ (Our language is popular in the entire world) and ‘Urdu Europi Zubanon Ki Yulghaar Mein Jaan-e-Balab Hai’ (Urdu faces extinction because of the domination of European languages).

Script: These Urdu statements have been written in the Roman English script. They have also been written in conventional Urdu – in the Persian script – in reverse, in a design that sort of overlaps the Roman English writing. Some miniatures have also been put on display.

Eminent artist, art critic and National College of Arts (NCA) faculty member Quddus Mirza said the artist had blended the two languages very nicely. He praised the imagery that the artist had used in his work. Mirza said Mahmood’s work could be called a reflection of what he had observed in society. He said the artist had nicely transferred his expression on canvas.

Mahmood holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts (BFA) degree from the NCA and did his Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from the Punjab University. This is his first solo show in Pakistan. Earlier, he has exhibited in India. Talking to Daily Times, Mahmood said walking through the city, a person could see so many billboards where Urdu was written in the Roman English script. He said the two statements that he has used were symbolic. “Urdu doesn’t face any threat from European languages. We don’t even use our mother tongue for writing anymore. Even when we do write Urdu, we use English alphabets,” he said.

A large number of art enthusiasts including renowned painter Saeed Akhter showed up at the exhibition. Around 16 paintings were displayed and the prices range between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000. The exhibition would remain open for around a week.

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