Barricades, entrenchments and barriers that were introduced to cordon off areas during unrest in Karachi are now an integral part of city’s landscape. The security infrastructure that looked alien at the time of its inception has become a regular feature at public spaces and government institutions. This could evoke fear and anxiety among denizens of Karachi but it could also be intertwined with the architecture such that it becomes a design element. ‘Containing the Metropolis’ (working title) is continuation of ‘Proposals towards a new architecture’, one which could meet requirements of a city in conflict while maintaining design aesthetics fit for a metropolis.
With the rise in security concerns barricades, sandbags, watchtowers and other security fixtures have become a regular feature at all important public and private spaces.
With passage of time a new kind of architecture has emerged. The erstwhile security fixtures are now an inherent part of this new architecture assimilating them into an integral feature of design instead.
‘The other storey” is a continued exploration of analyzing this new architecture which tries to assimilate local design aesthetic with a functional requirement out of an architectural design.
We increasingly feel less control over the environment and surroundings that we live in. Security concerns have occupied a permanent place in our mind and as a result it has altered our everyday routine, our needs, our wants. It has manifested into gated communities, guarded houses and layers of security infrastructure in public spaces. We find solace in the fact that we have created secure zones where we could be shielded from chaotic world out there.
While living in Karachi, I noticed that the usage of barricade is fast becoming a prominent feature
It is being used mostly as an added layer to already fortified spaces of various government / private buildings and schools. As a response to the security situation in Karachi, the existences of these barricades have become an accepted type of intervention into the cityscape. One can imagine and map these barricades transforming from mere blocks into facades, columns, gardens and eventually translating into the innermost features of architecture.
A continuing investigation the changing face of the city through measures of policing, securitization and urban regulation manifested in the barricades and barriers that have come to form a kind of architecture of Karachi, this ongoing series of proposals attempt to formulate an integrated architecture of the city through new possible configurations of urban dwelling and structural formations
A reflection of the troubled state of the country are the barricades spread all over for the city which technically are meant for protection but actually form obstacles for the citizens, which they have to manoeuver around in order to reach their destination. The idea of this project is to reverse the function of the sand bags to form an engaging activity for the visitors, forming a colorful labyrinth.
Items of reuse employs found and readymade objects, it seems impossible in Karachi to hear the words gunny bags or gunny sacks without thinking of lost bodies. These textile sacks cannot be associated with their primary use in carrying rice or other dry goods alone. Instead they are continually connected to their re-use as wretched carriers of Karachi’s victims of political violence.
This site-specific intervention is made in response to the under-construction condition of the Canvas Gallery, Karachi, using materials found at the site (sand and cement). The sand and cement create a floor pattern, suggesting a completion or finesse to the space, while the sand mound implies the opposite. This work is intended to be in its transformative stage, as the gallery space is now bringing together both the work and space in dialogue with each other.
The works in ‘traversals’ are created by stripping down the suitcases and backpacks to the point when only the interior and skeleton of it remains. The choice of suitcases and backpacks in this body of work, are used as a metaphor to address the state of traveling, and travelers’ body. The approach of stripping down the luggage was taken to draw a parallel for psychological space created with the environment of airports.
Through the treatment of my material I aimed to look at the anxiety and stress of the body, which goes through several performances of being touched, scanned, stripped check, cavity searched or been held for endless hours of interrogations.
Tsukumogami, is a Japanese myth referring to the becoming alive and self-aware of objects that reach their 100th birthday. This body of work was made at Fukuoka Asian art museum on an art exchange programme and generated during my stay in Japan, where I was conducting research on the old hair stylizations of the geisha with traditional wig makers there. The formal aspect to these hair forms inspired me to transform mops and cleaning items into ghost like figure. The choice of mops and cleaning items for this installation aimed also to question our perception of every mundane object, by decontextualizing and transforming them (the mops) into previously unimagined beings.
The work during this residency was made in response to the take away food consumption in London. The work was mainly made with the disposable food boxes used by me during the residency, while imagining and treating my studio space as the inside of a stomach and what it consumes.
Leather belts are stitched together to create a fabric for sculpture. Belts, which are used to harness and support the body, also contains connotations of violence. Stitched, unstitched and bound these belted objects are suggestive of a figure in the process of reviving or disintegrating.
Body without body is a body of work that explores the female figure in its absence through neckties found in the flea markets of Karachi. The choice of using neckties in these figurative sculptures attempts to raise questions around the idea of the socially constructed female body in a patriarchal system.
These sculptural pieces are made in VASL residency, Karachi, Pakistan. The work was made in response to the given studio site, which was a warehouse used for keeping huge rolls of newsprint paper. The gigantic rolls and its endless length intrigued me to explore its materiality into large-scale abstract figurative forms. In these forms I was looking into the deceptive quality of paper as fabric, which led me to do studies on the body- fabric relationship that resulted in these sculptural forms.