Armed with paintbrushes: NCA principal brings show to Karachi

Anti-war art exhibition opens at Arts Council of Pakistan.

Express August 08, 2011

KARACHI: Fire should not be fought with fire, instead it should be fought with art. This was the theme of the art exhibition that opened at the Ahmed Pervaiz Art Gallery this weekend. It was organised by the principal of the National College of Arts in Lahore, Bashir Ahmed.

Bashir’s work, titled, ‘Remains of Ruins’ dates as far back as 1976. “Bashir’s work is experimental, modern art and it holds a contemporary message,” claimed watercolour abstract artist Qudsia Nisar. “His message of peace, unity and consequence, through art, is one that echoes across borders.”

Over 40 pieces of artwork were on display. Each tiny sculpture and every large painting held a detailed message on post-war chaos.

The art was titled ‘Heat and radiation’, ‘Catastrophe’, ‘Calamity’ and ‘I want peace.’

“My work is like news, it’s just presented in a different medium,” Bashir explained.

The aftermath of World War II influenced Bashir’s work greatly because not only did it serve as a warning but it could even be employed to forecast what might happen if peace and unity were not adopted at national and international levels.

“I have seen Japan in its worst state and I strongly feel that Bashir has set the perfect title for his exhibition,” said the chairperson of the Fine Arts committee, Fatima Surriya Bajya. She concluded by praying for increased awareness and said, “God save Pakistan, God bless us with unity.”

“When you receive a letter from abroad, the last word on it is Pakistan. We are all recognised as Pakistanis and yet we fight to divide our country,” Bashir said to an audience following him around the exhibit hall. “These distractions cause chaos, what we need is a movement to unify the masses.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.

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