Artistry de­liv­ers Pak­istani views

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS/OPINION - By TESSA JOHNSTONE

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.

Photo: TESSA JOHNSTONE

Artis­tic look: High Com­mis­sioner for Pak­istan Zehra Ak­bari stands by at In­no­vat­ing with Tra­di­tion, show­ing at Pataka.

ex­hibit­ing in

Chang­ing style: Mus­sar­rat Nahid Imam is one of nine Pak­istani artists

In­no­vat­ing with Tra­di­tion.

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