KARACHI: A team of as many as 15 people have taken upon yearly project, ‘Meri Shaan Mera Pakistan’, to the next level by carrying a public art installation activity on a 750-foot-long strip of wall.
Passing by the Aga Khan Jamatkhana in Garden East, one easily spots painters using various colours to convert a drab white wall at a park into a series of beautiful scenic and cultural paintings.
Abdoz Arts, in collaboration with EFU Life Assurance Ltd, started ‘Meri Shaan Mera Pakistan’ last year when they painted a 2,000 square-foot mural at Ayesha Manzil and a 300-foot-long wall near National Stadium in a move to reclaim public spaces and celebrate Independence Day.
“This time we have selected Garden area and are painting the boundary wall of the Aga Khan family park, which is a 7,500-square-foot space. The wall, which is 750 feet long, is a huge canvas for us,” the team leader of the Abdoz Arts, Humble Tariq, told The Express Tribune. The project is the artists’ celebration of Independence Day where they paint elements that Pakistan takes pride in. The objective of the event is to paint, preserve and glorify unique happenings of the country, he added.
“The event began last year where we painted two stretches located along Sharae Pakistan and National Stadium Road,” Tariq said, adding that, “This time we are painting a humongous 750-foot-stretch located right in the midst of Garden Road”.
The team leader said that they have obtained permission from the relevant authorities, including district officials, community leaders and administration of the park, to paint the mural.
The month-long project started on July 9 with drawing and sketches, which took around a week, while from July 15 till July 22 the painters did single-coating of the sketches. On Sunday, they started the detailing and finishing work of the murals, which are expected to be completed by August 5.
“There was an open invitation to volunteers, enthusiasts and artists of the city to come and contribute to making Pakistan beautiful,” Tariq said, adding that the main artists for the project have been a team from Lyari led by well-known artist Parvez Bhatti. Students from different schools also took part in this activity, he said.
Fateh Muhammad, who has been painting for the last 35 years, was filling colour in a sketch that depicted people observing a train reaching a station. “I feel lucky to be a part of this project, as I feel I am doing something good for my country by revamping these walls,” he said.
Parvez’s son, Jasarat Bhatti, who is also working on the project, was finishing a picture of people riding a Qingqi rickshaw. When a passerby stops and asks what we are doing they give us a thumbs up after finding out about the project and our motivation level skyrockets, Jasarat said.
A passerby, who lives on Britto Road, Garden, appreciated the work done by Abdoz Arts in the project and said that such initiatives should be cherished in order to build a better community.
The paintings and pictures, which are reproduced on the walls, are usually taken from the internet. Before painting the pictures, permissions were taken from the pictures’ owners but in few cases the owners could not be traced.
Sharing the future plans, Tariq said they are planning to take the project to Hyderabad and other cities as well.
At a time when society is cluttered by negativity from all sides, this is a unique community-building activity aiming to give a break to the citizens. Through these activities we want to inculcate the sense of ownership of our country in our people especially in the youth and the students, Tariq summed up.