MA Art & Design Studies (MA ADS) at Beaconhouse National University School of Visual Art & Design (BNU SVAD) recently opened its thesis exhibition. MA ADS is a multidisciplinary programme with emphases across visual, textual, technological and ephemeral research and practice. The context of the programme is unique in South Asia, since it recognises the potential of creative practices beyond the realm of art and design. Therefore, it is open to creative minds both from within and outside the disciplines of art and design. The programme attempts to foster new forms of knowledge in conversation with fields of visual studies, critical theory, creative technologies and scientific inquiry under the premise of art and design. Students devise a self-directed trajectory in the studio, writing or a combination of both. Graduating students this year, demonstrated the freedom of thought and action that the programme structure encourages along with the intensive focus of an individualised query. Sana Waqar Khan worked with hard informational data collected from her own body and imagined aesthetic experiences through these. Her practice is located in the intersection of art and science and draws from the conventions of both. Thavarasa Thajendran draws his inspiration from nature creating ephemeral works with organic material that references ideas of negation and meditation. Mubashir Niyaz is interested in the present hyper visual culture and whether creation is a task that can be performed through self-sustained artificial intelligence. Bushra Mir is interested in absurdity and limitations of language. Sivasubramaniam Kajendran’s large scale oil paintings are based on his experiences of war and natural disasters in Sri Lanka. These visual narratives serve Siva in his own words, “healing process”. Hussain Jamil questioned the originality of the vision that a mirror offers. Jamil postulated that the idea of a mirror has been telling a lie since ages, as when we see words in mirrors and realise it through the inverted image. His reflective surfaces offer a variety of reflective textures that make the viewer see each time a very different, fragmented image. Khytul Abyad’s work combines social-political and philosophical context to the bodily experience of spirituality. She explores the idea of the dichotomy of social and ethereal experience of her living around shrines and religious structures in Kashmir, where reality and belief often go in contrast and one leads to reconcile with the other. She intends to present the viewer with an experience that is sensory, sentimental and practical. Sajid Ali’s grid-based paintings are the outcome of his childhood observations of making quilts in his home and the digital language of square pixels. He wants his imagery to be arbitrary, abstract and ambiguous he wants the viewer to perceive what they want to see. Zahra Asim’s cube-based paintings are about her memories of living and walking in the congested neighbourhood of old Lahore. She wants to confront claustrophobic memories of those places through studio strategies and turn them into nostalgic past. Sidra Asim’s ideas come through common household objects. She believes that the notion of strategic displacement of form and function metaphorically signify a change of our perspective and seeing something ordinary. She used recycled glass bottles, jars, kitchen shredders, and cups with paint to convey her ideas. Zain Arshad developed an archive called Raither Vasaib on the history and culture of Cholistan. This online archive is an orderly compilation of information related to lives, expressions and traditions of the people of the area. This is an ongoing project that was made possible with the contribution of the people as a tribute to local people. Ramsha Rubbani’s work is about her passion of line. She strived to create visuals that appear as a dialogue of simple organic and geometric forms when viewed from a distance. However, on a proximate observation, her drawings reveal to the viewer an intricate natural construction. The MA ADS Degree Show 2019 will conclude on February 1, 2019 at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Art & Design, BNU Tarogil Campus. Published in Daily Times, January 30th 2019.