Back with the Big Bang: National Art Gallery

We talked about it back then and now again :>

Islamabad’s art gallery has seen quite some conflicts in the past few days – first they did a strange thing (not so strange in present circumstances though), paintings like the picture shows “Clash of civilization” is one of the paintings being removed from the gallery due to its sensitivity or ostensibly to please our western friends.

Then the govt issued orders to rename the National Art Gallery as National Center of Creative Arts that looked confusing even to the people from arts circle.

The people from art circles strongly suspected that the motive behind the renaming was to expand the national art gallery project to include “all forms of performing arts”.

It was meant to be one of the country’s largest and most significant art projects in six decades – a home to some of the rarest works by the nation’s greatest masters like Sadequain, Chughtai and Shakir Ali to name a few.

After few days of this decision, the orders were taken back and now its back to National Art Gallery.

Th NAG is built at a cost of Rs456 million, and over 18,000 square yards, NAG has 13 galleries, a library, 450-seat auditorium, a restoration laboratory, art studios and a children section.

But it seems the long and dark shadow of the late Gen Ziaul Haq who conceived the National Art Gallery (NAG) project on April 5, 1978 looms large on the new “palace of arts”.

Ministry of Culture is still at the job, to stop art works that could hurt the sensitivities of the people or their religious sentiments, making way to the NAG exhibition halls. Let’ see if you find some clash, realities there hanging around or just the landscapes … !

3 Comments so far

  1. Purple_Haze (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 2:10 am

    Again that old box-like brick architecture that looks dirty even when its clean. How are we ever move forward. Who says there is a lot of talent in PK? I dont ‘see it’ anywhere, its all repetition – no innovation.


  2. momers (unregistered) on April 2nd, 2007 @ 3:45 am

    This clash of the civilizations painting/billboard was done by an Art History professor of Pakistani origin Iftikhar Dadi, who now teaches art history at Cornell.
    Interesting that this would come up today when I first met him just yesterday!

    About Prof Dadi here , here and the billboard is here.


  3. Veteran86 (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2007 @ 12:51 am

    Momers could you post the links again they dont seem to be working. Thanks.

    Art gallery doesnt look too bad, i know its off to a rough start, but in time if the art community and the locals pressurize the government enough, things will get done.



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