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Cultural diplomacy: Collaborative sculptures absorb viewers’ attention

The show featured 12 Pakistani sculptors. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

The show featured 12 Pakistani sculptors. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Set in lush green lawns of the Swiss embassy, an exhibition featuring the work of 12 Pakistani sculptors was held on Friday.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Satrang Gallery Director Asma Khan said the embassy asked her to put up a show of sculptors for them. “I visited NCA Rawalpindi and Lahore to select the finest sculptors. I wanted the show to feature fine but young artists because they bring in a lot of innovation and originality,” she said.

“We believe in the power of cultural diplomacy and are grateful to the generosity of Ambassador Marc George and his commitment to support and preserve arts in Pakistan. The artists particularly responded to the embassy’s expansive outdoor exhibition space and created artworks designed to absorb and provoke attention of the viewers,” she said.

The show goes on to speak about the importance the Embassy of Switzerland gives to art and culture along with its corporate social responsibility.

Beyond the visual delight of artworks displayed, the sculptors intended to foster an emotional engagement with the viewers, said the Swiss ambassador at the opening ceremony. “The event illustrates the commitment of the Swiss embassy to promote artistic creation of young talented artists, who made the choice to perform in the art of sculpture, an unconventional artistic practice in Pakistan,” he added.

The artwork displayed was fine and undeniably remarkable with sculptures made of unconventional materials like fibreglass, silicon, latex, stainless steel, wood and plastic among other materials. Seeing young artists dare to experiment with the unconventional art practice in the country and derive their own interpretation was an inspiring experience in itself.

Speaking to the artists, one could sense their wide interpretations. While Akif Khan said his work was about human behaviours, Amna Ilyas explored the aspect of language through her art work and Idrees Hanif got inspiration from his own personal experiences. Karim Ahmed said his art practice as a sculptor reflects from photography and drawing. Ramla Fatima Kazi said that her work often focuses on divulging secrets and exploring fears. “I like my work to explore something, either from within the space or from within the person or character represented. I use articles found in the spaces and usually alter very little in order to create my own reality,” she said.

The exhibition ends on October 31.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st,  2015.


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