Thread and buttons on fabric
Saba Khan’s art practice has been about observations of her own urban environment of Lahore. It has reflected upon the changing fabric and growing discrepancies between the economic classes. Satirical tools and humor are used to highlight more serious issues. A sense of play is present in the works where use of materials and colours also give an effect of urban kitsch.
The catalyst for this work was the disastrous energy crisis, where we see ‘load-shedding’ after every alternate hour, these blackouts have given way to a thriving market of generators and car batteries called UPS. The grunting hum of the generators has become part of the landscape where the size of your generator/UPS is reflected by your economic class. In a country where the elite are often numb to natural and economic catastrophes, this has hit everyone. One now sees large textile mills shutting down and businesses shifting to more lucrative pastures of Bangladesh. However, small businesses are hit the worst. In a country where garments are still handmade and designed according to each customer’s tastes, there is a male dominated market of numerous tailors and hand embroiderers who sit in pigeon-hole size shops. The generator was made by professional embroiderers, who were seen lying idle in their shops during the dark hours. The irony of it all is that they could make the desirable image of a generator but could not afford to own one.
Saba Khan completed her BFA from the National College of Arts in 2005 with a Distinction and went on for an MFA from the Boston University in 2010 on Fulbright Scholarship.
Image Courtesy | Saba Khan