In his recent essay The Changing Colours of Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk laments on the disappearance of yellow light from shops and houses in Istanbul. Instead, white fluorescent light has taken over his native city. Reading him, one wonders on the formation, effect and origin of light. For some, every tone is an offshoot of white; for Hamra Abbas – as per the title of her solo show at the COMO Museum of Art, Lahore – Every Colour is a Shade of Black.
Why black? There are many answers to the question, all of which could be gathered from her exhibition. A keen observer, Abbas investigates the structure of light, physiology of colour, its symbolic meaning and its different representations in traditional and contemporary aesthetics.