On December 26, 2018, the most resolute seven characters succeeded in absconding from the imagination of visual artist Irfan Gul Dahri to seek refuge amidst the four walls of O Art Space Gallery.Regardless of being bizarre in appearance, the exhibition fascinates its viewers as it serves to be a perfect blend of what we see and what we perceive. Irfan Gul Dahri’s artwork, titled Perceptions, revolves around nine figures who despite being mythical in nature and appearance tell a tale of their own. The thought provoking hybridity of human and animal forms is what make these art pieces distinct and interesting for the viewer. Meanwhile, there are few figures that succeed in maintaining their humanness yet there remains something unusual about them. Two of the paintings titled Manoo and Constant Companion depict a complete human form however are not safe from the usual distortion seen in others.Like Kafka’s Metamorphosis, these characters seem to be undergoing the process of metamorphosis and are struggling through their identity which is hanging somewhere in between the real and perceived world. Gul Dahri tries to visualise the perennial question of how the individual can change while trying to remain constant with a feeling of otherness. Like Kafka’s Metamorphosis, these characters seem to be undergoing the process of metamorphosis and are struggling through their identity which is hanging somewhere in between the real and perceived world. Dahri tries to visualise the perennial question of how the individual can change while trying to remain constant with a feeling of othernessMuch of the work has already been done on the kinship of human and animal form, however what make this artwork interesting are the paradoxical titles of the paintings and the uneasiness visible among the figures. Dahri not only provides intricate detail of the figures but also takes along the background which adds to the story of the painting. These paintings have been created with the medium of acrylic on canvas and provide a raw insight into a world where we are struggling to find and express ourselves amidst the ever-present and all-consuming obligations.Most of the art pieces have a figure at the background that is connected with the main figure in one way or the other: In the Fence, a woman with the head of Sphynx cat is followed by a bald man whose back is facing her and gives a feeling of detachment. Another art piece titled Hiraeth 1 portrays a woman with a camel like face while in the background stands a llama staring at her with the fluttering grass in between. The painting along with its colour gives a feeling of remoteness. All the paintings are multi layered in terms of theme and subject matter and so, will be unfair if one tries to frame the meaning in subjective interpretation. Looking at Dahri’s paintings, is like looking at the clouds, for some they may look alike a dragon and for others, just an old man.The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, January 9th 2019.