The journey from aquatic wasteland to flourishing biosphere starts with a dream, and like any dream, is replete with amorphous symbology. Saba Khan’s dream begins with the banks of the Indus River in the vein of legendary Iranian polymath Al-Biruni, famed for his 11th Century study of Indic culture and impartial observation during his travels. Khan envisions the current trend in water preservation and architecture through a trans-temporal lens of travelling observers. The essence of a century of ideas and their physical constructs - barrages, dams, canal fixtures, gates; and the bureaucratic paraphernalia deployed to manifest them - is channelled into structural palimpsests. Her paintings merge multiple genres and thematic concerns, from history, archaeology, science-fiction and feminist theory, into a rich saga. Diagrams of sculptural machinery contain the memories of water and astrological drawings of Al-Biruni. Simultaneously, Khan’s tongue-in-cheek subversion of official tropes visibly dominate the titular exploratory gear. Green uniforms dramatically sheathe anonymous officials from head to toe on expeditions, against aqueous-blue riverscapes, while watermarked logos, project proposals and engineering schematics create complete environments. Khan opens a door to a parallel universe, inviting her viewers to experience the heartland of heritage through the mighty Indus, its countless tales archived and re-imagined for a new age.
The show remains open daily until Thursday 2 September 2021, from 11 am – 6 pm (excluding Sunday). We welcome your visits to our space throughout the show’s duration so please feel free to avail the opportunity to see this exciting collection of works.
solo show ‘Water Explorer’ at Canvas Gallery, Karachi