Archive for the ‘Arts and Crafts’ Category

A visit to the National Art Gallery

A few weeks back the National Art Gallery opened its doors to the public near the Parliment house. It has managed to attract quite a number of people.After seeing the advertisement in the newspapers and hearing about it from several people I decided to pay visit to the gallery.
It was totally different from what I expected. A you approach the entrance of the vicinity you are greeted by a sentry of seven large black statues of burqa-clad figures, haunting and dementor like. On close inspection it was found that they are made from fibreglass although from a distance they seem to be made from charcoal.
The gallery which took over more than two decades to be materialized now houses 600 works of art featuring 126 artists. Grouped in 16 exhibitions with each hall dedicated to a certain subject.

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Photogragh: Aamir Qureshi
There are several internees around the gallery who can explain to the visitors what the painting and the sculptures depict. Although most of the time I did not find them helpful. The room which was dedicated to love was perhaps the most controversial of the exhibitions( or may be the hall at the top floor) where some paintings displayed nudity. This was totally out of the blue for me and many other who would expect strong censorship.
I was totally taken by surprize when I saw a several paintings depicting homosexuallity. I wonder why the mullahs haven’t criticized yet? I was also appalled to see that the paint on the wall was already getting scraped off due to the water getting leaked from the ceiling in room of the miniatures.
Although the general effort in bringing all these pieces of art together at one place is very much appriciated and is a visual treat for the art lovers.
The Art Gallery opens at 11a.m. Theres no ticket from 11a.m to 2p.m and later when it reopens at 3pm there is some sort of ticket.
And do remember that when you go into a hall that has this sound which is quite irritating dont keep wondering what it is. The sound coming from the speakers is the sound of childeren reciting Quran mechanically in congregation. I found this later from a news paper.

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Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP

National Art Gallery Opens !

As we discussed here and here about the National Art Gallery of Islamabad – PNCA; first the dates of NAG’s inauguration were set to be in march’s end, President was not available; Islamabad saw some redness around and not to forget the CJ cases … finally Peace comes back and NAG’s inaugurated. Rs.456 Million were consumed to make NAG the reality …!

The previous art gallery of PNCA in F-7/4 was not appropriately located; pieces of gold laid in shambles. Brick structure again but it looks appropriate to host L’Arte Grandeur.

Quoting from the website:

National Art Gallery at Islamabad is the only one of its kind in Pakistan where works of art representing prominent artists are displayed permanently for viewing of public. The significant collection of these treasures of art is being collected in small rooms being turned into National Art Gallery. Almost 423 art pieces are in our permanent collection, purchased or gifted by the artists for National Art Gallery.

You can view the complete Architectural plan of NAG here, it’s located in F-5/1 near the Constitution avenue, next to Awami Markaz and PTA building.

News reports in detail about NAG.

It’s open for visitors now … Bang in to enjoy the lovely creations of our own artisans.

Zibakhana, anyone?

Zibakhana, touted to be Pakistan’s first gore film premiered in Islamabad on Sunday, 10th June (damn, I missed it!). I couldn’t make it as I was a little caught up with stuff. Has anyone seen the movie yet? What are the show timings, the movie website has nothing about them. One of the reviews had this to say about them…

“Billed affectionately as “Pakistan’s first gore film” and clocking in with a run time under 90 minutes, you can pretty much gather from the start that it’s going to be a wild ride indeed.” -Fearnet.com

and

“It’s actually quite common to overhear genre fans discussing how they are eagerly awaiting the next brutal European survival horror romp, creepy Asian ghost revenge tale, bizarre Japanese psychedelic head trip, or gory Pakistani zombie/slasher film. Okay, go ahead and take a second look, but yes, you did read that correctly. I did say Pakistani zombie/slasher film.” -Fearnet.com

Damn, its going to be good. I congratulate the film makers, the actors and the entire team at making this movie. Not only will it open up the local film industry to new ideas and techniques, the much need attention and sponsorships to private/small productions like these from investors in Pakistan would start generating. Can’t wait to see the movie! Thankfully, this was a first of it’s kind event in Islamabad, in a long long time.

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

What we have…

What we have, over shadows what we don’t. Let’s accept the fact that Islamabad lacks a few basic facilities that other Pakistani cities do. Pakistanis sans Islamabadis would be eager to listen to what I have to say, if not, don’t care. So here goes.

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Urs, Colors, Life @ Its Peak

Bari Imam was an eminent sufi saint belonging to the Qadri silsila of tareeqat. His real name was Shah Abdul Latif Kazmi. When he arrived in a village in suburbs of Islamabad (obviously not existent then), it was town inhabited by dacoits. It’s been said that due to his saintly ways and blessed presence, he preached the denizens of the town turned to pious ways of life. (If any one can confirm or elaborate this information??!??)

His yearly urs, celebrated in these days of the year, is attended by thousands of devotees from all over the country.

The urs, now becoming a festivity for many city dwellers and people coming from across various villages, started this Monday. While coming to office, many people (more like a caravan) were spotted carrying brightly coloured flags, flowers, walking their way towards Bari Imam (miles away from the margalla road) bare foot. Isn’t it a bit odd, since Islam prohibits self-torture …!

Let’s have a picturesque account of preparations of the Urs courtesy many newspapers :>

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Diyyay are lit at the shrine of Hazrat Bari Imam at Nurpur Shahan.

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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.
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We Deserved Better

A Miniature Art displaying Mughal era

News are that finally a building on Jinnah Avenue, close to parliament lodges, is chalked out for Pakistan national council of Arts (PNCA).

At present, it’s located in a small house in F-7/4 (OK the plot may not be small for an house but it sure is for an art gallery and arts council).

The approval for building was done 16 years back and now, at last, the work has been restarted, preferably deadline set for March. The new premises being built at a cost of Rs 456 million will have 14 spacious galleries, a large auditorium with a seating capacity for 450 people and an administration block housing the PNCA offices. It will also have facilities like a cafeteria, a laboratory, a section for children, a studio and a lecture hall complete with air-conditioning and sound systems.

PNCA organizes lectures on art and various workshops on photography, landscape paintings (in different media), music, and various other Art forms for children, youngsters and even elderly.

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Lollywood Comes To Islo

Maula%20Jatt.jpgPakistan Film Industry released its first film “Mehfil” with Nasir Khan (Dilip Kumar’s brother) and Asha Posle heading its cast. Many of the films of yesteryears presented large variety of themes in Muslim social family traditions, tragedy, comedy, history and cultural issues, with great music blended into the theme. Good number of memorable films was produced during the decades that followed. However, currently the film industry is in an enervated condition.

The Ministry of Culture and Hunerkada would organize a conference on “The Revival Of Pakistan Film Industry” in Islamabad on February 6th 2007 at the Islamabad Club. Representatives of film industry including senior artists would also participate on the occasion.

Truck art

When coming from karachi, the first thing you notice on the roads are the missing busses. Islamabad has no public transport system to speak off. And when there are no busses around, there’s obviously no bus art around either.

However, i noticed it wasnt as much the busses as it was the spirit of the people to decorate their vehicles. So what do you have as the next best thing to decorate? The answer….

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… a suzuki pickup! Long Live Pakistani Truck Art :D

Music, survival of life!

Today I went to ABPARA market to get my mother’s glasses fixed. There I heard a voice as if some one is singing on harmonium. I walked few more steps and saw an old man sitting on one side of the footpath, with an old tormented harmonium. He was singing a song in a familiar tune but I could not recognize the lyrics.

He was so old that he could hardly pronounce the words clearly but still he was singing at top of his lungs. He was playing harmonium in a beautiful way that anyone could have been attracted towards the tune and listen to it for a while.

We can not call him a beggar as he was working to get his both ends meet. He was not asking for money to anyone passes by him. He was playing the music and who ever wants to appreciate was giving him money. I do not know why but I did not give him money. I might be too busy with my work that could not think of helping him.

His music had no meaning just because he was sitting in ragged clothes beside the road. He would have been appreciated if he had been belonged to a renowned family. His music would have been appreciated by everyone, unfortunately we live in a world where we fancy things a lot, but it is not.

While I was coming out of the shop I saw a man convincing him to give him his harmonium for a while and take his wristwatch as a debt. He was telling that old man that it is made of gold. I knew he was lying and so did the old man. His body might be old but with all those wrinkles on his face show his maturity and experience he had in his life. What if his talent is recognized by us and we could help him in a better way instead of giving him few pennies.

I came up with an idea that I wanted to share with my readers, what if the art and craft department arranges a show where all such people could have been appreciated and awarded.

For now, you can go to ABPARRA market behind ZEENO’S Tikka and listen to the music that old man is playing all day long.

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