Consul General of Switzerland Mr. and Mrs. Emil Wyss adorned in Amir Adnan and FnkAsia attire respectively, hosted a night of contemporary exuberance and art against the backdrop of the iconic Mohatta Palace Museum. They welcomed the media, VIP guests and notable celebrities, to appreciate works of art in collaboration with the Canvas Gallery over a cup of frothy Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee.
As the sound of soft jazz-music drifted through from the far corner, I was greeted by a dimly lit mannequin sporting a coffee-textured dress coated with real coffee grains, by the ever-so quirky Sadaf Malaterre. The paintings, sculptures, video art and contemporary installations that were displayed in the purpose built gallery and Mohatta Gardens, made brilliant use of their forte influenced by the theme of coffee.
As I walked by, I recognized interesting phases in the vocations of twenty-one experienced and budding artists such as, Amin Gulgeem Ayaz Jokhio, Sara Pagganwala, Sanie Bokhari, Seema Nusrat and Natasha Jozi amongst many others. While some of them created thoughtful surrealism through their brush strokes, others represented an interesting take on all the facets of our current society.
There were artists, like Muhammad Ali, Sara Pagganwala and Shalalae Jamil who put up an interesting collaborative performance of “Eating Head/Head Cases.” The idea behind presenting edible cake sculptures was to highlight the nature of identity as understood and experienced by the self and other. What came across as truly thoughtful was how the authentic self is sweetened, beautified and hidden under the layer of a highly constructed version of self displayed for public consumption.
My interest was also piqued at Natasha Jozi’s intelligent discourse of showing the relationship of consumerism with history, culture, text, diction and literature through her performance piece titled “I Put Butter knife to Paper.” She was propped up at a table surrounded by contemporary novels, a pan of fresh tomatoes and an stereo recorder blasting historical commentary.
Throughout the evening, the ‘mini me’ and ‘sleep drop’ coffee machines by Nescafe Dolce Gusto remained in spotlight. The fervent Nescafe-servers also dived into explaining the process of making modern art café style coffee at home. They introduced flavors like: Expresssos, cappuccinos, latte macchiato and chococino, out of which chococino remained my absolute favorite.
It’s not too common for Karrachiites to get out of their comfort zones, and get together for appreciation of art and dialogue over a cup of coffee; but the fact that they did, instantly gave a positive push to our side-lined creative forums.