Mehmil — a combination of soul and skill

Featuring bold, bright and beautiful colours to aesthetically enhance home and work spaces, Mehmil, a home décor store, graced a large number of renowned names and art admirers to its rare exhibit of art, crafts and antiques on its opening day

LAHORE: Mehmil (meaning the “carrier” of something, usually a palanquin laid on the back of an elephant to carry women through their expedition), a home décor store, graced a large number of renowned names and art admirers to its rare exhibit of art, craft and antiques on its opening on Thursday at Studio O, Syed Maratib Ali Road Gulberg, Lahore.

Featuring bold, bright and beautiful colour styles to aesthetically enhance home and work spaces, the exhibition continues on for two days till Saturday, the 20th of January, 2018, facilitating customer ease and interactions.

Working on the project for the last year and a half, poet and bureaucrat Shoaib Bin Aziz has been spearheading this exceptional opportunity for audiences, along with his three daughters: Rida, Alina and Sundas.

“We have experimented on different art and craft forms,” he said.

In conversation with the Daily Times, Mr Aziz added, “What makes this initiative unique is that it represents a combination of soul and skill. It is not patronising the artist alone but the craftsmen behind this. It’s a rare arrangement where a panel of artists provided their esteemed guidance and mentorship to our local raw craftsmen, so they create and recreate the blended version of our heritage and modern art.”

Artworks comprising of wood pieces as well as those designed from metal, form the range of unusual and striking samples of visual art for viewers to choose from. The prices of these one-of-a-kind statement artworks range from as low as Rs 200 to as high as Rs 150,000.

Art objects capturing the attention of onlookers include works such as ‘Frog doing Yoga,’ ‘Praying Buddha,’ ‘Cow Boys,’ ‘Stylised deer,’ ‘Hounds,’ ‘Copper Pots’, ceramic pieces, original antique ship lights and many other such compositions.

‘When we want to bring about a change in the world, we look for thinkers and doers. Mr Shoaib manifests the specimen of such a doer, whose artwork stands necessary for the positive image building of our nation,’ added painter and sculptor RM Naeem

Established names like RM Naeem, Salima Hashmi, Nayyar Ali Dada, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Syed Noor, Hissan Hyder and Umar Shami amongst others, commended the initiative taken by Mr Aziz (who happens to be a literary figure) to showcase an exhibition that revealed his innermost, hidden talent.

“Mehmil reflects the deep-rooted desire for human beings to excel in the making of things,” said Artist and former Dean of NCA Salima Hashmi, while endorsing the concept behind the exhibition and speaking about our beloved city, Lahore.

Novelist and Writer Mustansar Hussain Tarar spoke of his dear friend Shoaib Bin Aziz, lauding him on his riveting skills in a heartfelt message, “The exhibition, Mehmil, is the result of Shoaib and his wife Afshaan’s sheer hard work, which encompasses the expression of an artist’s ‘masterstroke’. Shoaib has put his masterstrokes on exquisite examples of ancient art, craft and antiques, turning them all the way from ordinary to extraordinary. I congratulate him on his venture and newly-formed cooperation with this art show. Mehmil emerges as an institution which will remain as a source of great benefit for Pakistan; it not only promotes heritage and culture but also the local and driven artisans of the country.”

Painter and Sculptor RM Naeem added, “When we want to bring about a change in the World, we look for thinkers and doers. Mr Shoaib manifests the specimen of such a doer, whose artwork stands necessary for the positive image building of our nation.”

Mehmil, as the name suggests, truly and unconventionally unfolds for its viewers a story of “an unending journey of taste and style spread across horizons.”

The writer is Assistant Web Editor and In-charge DT Arts and Culture at Daily Times. She can be reached at eeshahomer@gmail.com and tweets at @EeshahOmer

Published in Daily Times, January 20th 2018.