Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pakistan art exhibition opens in London

LONDON: A landmark exhibition of Pakistani art opened at London’s Asia House on Tuesday night showcasing the country’s rich culture, social aspects, vibrant and blossoming art scene.

The “Different Faces of Pakistan” the group exhibition is organised by Sasheen Abbasi, in collaboration with CARE, Pakistan’s educational NGO. The exhibition sought to highlight the unexplored artistic side of Pakistan by bringing together works by 35 artists, juxtaposing established modern masters such as Sadequain and Gulgee alongside contemporary talents that included Khusro Subzwari, Farrukh Shahab, Inam Raja, Dr Wasif Ali and Tassadux Sohail.

Abbasi told The News she selected the works to demonstrate the “creativity, courage and conviction of artists living through some of the most trying times the nation has witnessed over the past few decades”. For Abbasi, they “depict the real face of Pakistan, so often neglected in sensationalist international news, and instead showcase the beauty, sensitivity and remarkable grit of the Pakistani people”.

Some 150 arts professionals, collectors and critics attended the opening night, with notable guests including David Abrahams of RUSI, Dr Azra Pechucho, Chairman of Defence Committee, Pakistan, Nick Viner, Director of Conservative Friends of Pakistan and several key media figures.

Speaking on the occasion, Mehvish Khan, Chief Executive of CARE Pakistan, commented, “Asia House was the perfect setting for a fabulous evening of Pakistani art and culture.

It was wonderful to see so many people supporting Pakistani art.” Talking to The News at the opening ceremony, Farzana Baduel, who handled organisation of the exhibition, said that the country brand of Pakistan is in “negative decline”. She added, “This exhibition is a much needed promotional platform for Pakistan and its immense artistic and cultural heritage.

Creating a cultural dialogue between Pakistan and the international community will enable a greater understanding of Pakistan and its people; hopefully one that differs from the usual negative narrative that is sadly so often prevalent in the international press”, Farzan Baduel said.

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