Published in Pakistan Observer (6 Nov. 2011)
Islamabad – The Public Art Show at Iqra University, Islamabad is perhaps Pakistan’s first travelling art exhibition, which aspires to draw a new audience towards art, in particular young generation. With this unique and innovative project, the organisers have proved that exclusivity in art is no longer in vogue, and it’s about accessibility nowadays.
The exhibition was inaugurated by Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Ishak Latuconsina. Appreciating the remarkable artwork at the show, he said that the “art is the best means to express our ideas and thoughts in a positive manner.” He added that public art shows, particularly held at educational institutions, would help in developing an interest in art among the younger generations.
The art show titled “Opening lines” presents creative collection of 51 artists, who have volunteered to take part in the series of travelling exhibition which is going to different public spaces of the capital city from April till November 2011. The first display of this public exhibition was held at the National Library of Pakistan in April followed by Islamabad Stock Exchange, National University of Science and technology (NUST), Mashall School for underprivileged children in May, and finally concluding at Iqra University, Islamabad campus.
The exhibition covers a wide variety of subjects and time periods from the fine arts: paintings, prints, works on paper, mixed-media. Some of the artists whose works are being showcased include Salima Hashmi, Hajra Mansoor, Rahat Naveed Masud, Mansoor Rahi, Aqeel Solangi, Rukhe Nelofar Zaidi, Usman Saeed, and Rukhsana David.
The idea behind the exhibition is “to engage the educated audience of Pakistan in a public setting outside the commercial gallery space.” For this reason, the primary focus of the exhibitions are public buildings, schools, colleges and universities so that students and young generation can learn about the current status of visual art in Pakistan at an early age that may help develop their aesthetic awareness. The places for the display of artworks have been thoughtfully selected as the idea was to transform the humdrum environment into a different interdisciplinary art space. These exhibitions are primarily for commoners who visit the places on a daily basis.
The organisers expect that “the exhibitions will go a long way in developing an interest in art among the younger generations of Pakistan as they need diverse avenues to direct their energies, occupy their time and express themselves.”
Other participating artists include Imran Ahmad, Waseem Ahmed, Rabia Anwar, Rakhshanda Atawar, Arfan Javed Augustine, Hassnain Awais, Unum Babar, Saira Dar, Sheraz Faisal, Shehla Farooq, Raju G.C, Fatima Ghufran, Khurshid Gohar Qalam, Asad Hayee, Ferwa Ibrahim, Amna Ilyas, Zubeda Javed, Sajana Joshi, Muhammad Arif Khan, Muhammad Atif Khan, Kaleem Khan, Masood Kohari, Shehzad Majeed, Farheen Maqsood, Rahat Naveed Masud, Hadia Moiz, Syed Hassan Mujtaba, Mehreen Murtaza, Aisha Rahim, Naveed Sabir, Fatima Saeed, Assaad Sallahuddin, M Shafiq, Asif Sharif, Samina Zaheer, Haider Ali Jan, and Mariam Ibraaz.