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21 Mar 2012

Ayaz Johkio - Solo show at Green Cardamom and Booth A6 at Art Dubai

Artist's Father, 2009
Digital print and acrylic on canvas

Ayaz Jokhio, A Poet's Country: His Eyes
Green Cardamom


Ayaz Johkio, A Poet's Country: His Eyes 15 March - 27 April at Green Cardamom Opening hours Monday - Friday 12 -6pm or by appointment 21 -24 March at Art Dubai Booth A6

Liza Kenrick
+44 (0) 207 4027125

Green Cardamom
5a Porchester Place
London W2 2BS

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Green Cardamom presents a solo exhibition of works by Ayaz Jokhio titled A Poet's Country: His Eyes, alongside a focus on this artist at Art Dubai, 2012.

The varied nature and media of Jokhio's work, combined with the simplicity of his presentation, belies a serious investigation into the contemporary gaze. Jokhio is uninterested in plundering the cultural imagery of the world in an investigative way. His method is to select imagery from print media, the internet, popular culture, and impressions from his own life and roots in Pakistan to create work that makes the viewer as culpable in deciphering its meaning, as he, the artist, is in creating it.

Jokhio's practice is a response to the phenomena of our reduced attention span. His work shifts from drawing to collage, to oil painting to images constructed using layers of dust. 'Borrowing' or recyling imagery is an on going thread that runs through his practice, taking physical manifestation in his collage works – newspaper and scraps become intricate collages depicting a patterned surface or a diptych of a couple of A-list Hollywood actors.

In one of his diptychs (Well and a Roundtable Conference, 2011), a collage of newspaper scraps creates a connection between two seemingly disparate images. Materials that would otherwise be discarded are used create new work, with imagery that is itself taken from popular media. The work offers an investigation into individual and collective memory and the common signifiers that link us all. It also evidences Jokhio's reverence for the written word and its formal, poetic construction. Bound up in this formal coupling, his work uses the language of poetry which is suggestive of the viewer 'reading' the work in their own way.

The well-known poet, Hassan Dars, a friend of the artist, who died in an accident in 2011, is referenced in the poignant Back of a Photograph, a formal tribute to the poet and his art. This reverence extends to the title of the exhibition: 'A Poet's Country: His Eyes', taken from a work by Dars that chimes closely with Jokhio's view of the world.

'…he goes where his imagination takes him
he resides in the places his eyes can see
a poet's country
his eyes.'
Hassan Dars (Translated from Sindhi by Mohammad Hanif and Hasan Mujtaba)

(2011) is a work inspired by a poem by the Indian saint and poet, Kabir. Kabir speaks of the vagaries of language, at one point focussing on the word 'narangi', which literally means 'without colour' and yet is the word used to describe a particular variety of the orange fruit. Jokhio has created a dust painting of an orange, which, being made of dust, is not orange, yet leaves the impression of that colour because of its subject matter. The painstaking construction of this work involves stencils and fixative on a canvas that is then left to collect dust in a controlled process. The time-consuming craftsmanship of this technique has a relationship with its poetic inspiration. Dust is what we, in poetic terms, are made from and return to in death. If language and communication underpin the essence of who we are as human beings, the use of dust in making artworks to question poetic language and meaning, is to deftly link these themes in one work.

In Chand Pukhraj, Jokhio has compressed an entire book of poetry by the Urdu poet Gulzar onto one large canvas, enabling the viewer, should they choose, to read it on one page. There is a temporal quality here as the viewer is forced to slow down, to properly look and read, to take time, to enjoy the poetic word as literal artwork. Jokhio's play on words and imagery and examination of the poetic language, his use of materials (newspaper, dust) and his astute eye on the development of the contemporary flow of information from political events to popular culture, are central to his artistic expression.

He is the eye of the storm, using his practice to enable us to stop for a minute longer, to think, consider and notice.

Note to Editors

Green Cardamom at Art Dubai
20-24 March / Stand A6

Green Cardamom is showing work by Ayaz Jokhio at Art Dubai 2012, together with Anwar Jalal Shemza and Nazgol Ansarinia. For further information and images, please see the website.

Ayaz Jokhio

Ayaz Jokhio was born in Mehrabpur, Pakistan and now lives and works in Lahore.
Recent exhibitions include Drawn from Life, Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, 2011; The Rising Tide: New Directions in Art from Pakistan 1990-2010, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, 2010; Medium as Metaphor, Works by Ahmed Ali Manganhar and Ayaz Jokhio, Green Cardamom, London, 2010; ResembleReassemble, Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, India, 2010; Hanging Fire; Contemporary Art from Pakistan, Asia Society and Museum, New York, 2009; Bani Abidi and Ayaz Jokhio, Zahoor ul Akhlaq Art Gallery, NCA, Lahore, 2008; Drawn from Life: Drawing Process, Green Cardamom, London, 2008; Who are you, where are you really from?, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 2006 and Self Portraits, Arcus Studio, Moriya, Japan, 2005. Ayaz participated in the Asia Pacific Triennial in Brisbane, Australia, December 2009.