Artistry delivers Pakistani views
A new exhibition which hopes to provide a ‘‘window on Pakistan’’ offers some surprising views.
Innovating with Tradition, on show at Pataka until September 14, is a collection of 32 works from young Pakistani artists.
Depicting everything from scooters stacked mile-high with luggage to Mughal princes, some of the works are a nod to the country’s artistic heritage, and others provide comment on the current political climate.
All use traditional techniques, however.
High Commissioner for Pakistan, Zehra Akbari, who worked with Pataka to bring the exhibition here, said she wanted to ‘‘introduce Pakistan’’ to New Zealanders.
‘‘This is a small window for the people of New Zealand to see through ... to see the rich cultural heritage, and artistic heritage which dates back 5000 years,’’ she said.
Although the modern state of Pakistan is relatively new, the country had a long and diverse cultural history and the exhibition is about showing off Pakistan’s artistic heritage and traditions, she said.
All the works in the show are ‘‘miniature’’ – but rather than seeing tiny objects on display, expect to see artworks with minute, intricate detail.
‘‘ Miniature’’ art techniques, such as using a single-hair brush and using papier mache canvasses, were developed during the time of the Mughal empire, and while never lost, have been reinvented quite recently by the graduates of the National College of Arts of Lahore.
Traditionally, miniature painting was used to depict very feminine figures, often in soft pastels, but young artists have changed that, Akbari said.
The crossing over of traditional with modern is a reflection of where Pakistan is at, she said.
‘‘It’s taking those techniques and becoming more bold and more courageous and showing contemporary themes and more global techniques,’’ she said.
Artistic look: High Commissioner for Pakistan Zehra Akbari stands by at Innovating with Tradition, showing at Pataka.
Changing style: Mussarrat Nahid Imam is one of nine Pakistani artists
Innovating with Tradition.