Culture: Breathing fresh life into ‘dying arts’

Published: November 15, 2011
NCA, PU students learn from local 
artisans at the Thaap Conference

NCA, PU students learn from local artisans at the Thaap Conference


Tollinton on The Mall, now Arts and Crafts Museum is the venue for local craftsmen to exhibit their work as part of the Thaap Conference, 2011.

Artisans gave live demonstrations at their stalls on Monday as onlookers quizzed them about their work.

The crafts on display included ceramics, metal work, doll making, block printing, chik work and handmade cards.

“This exhibition has been organised to promote the threatened arts of Lahore,” said Punjab Arts Council Deputy Director Naeem Ahsan. “We have especially invited students from the National College of Arts (NCA) and Punjab University to watch the workers and learn from them. We want them to incorporate their motifs, techniques and designs in their work.”

The students thronged the stalls closely observing the artisans at work.

NCA film student Risham Waseem said, “I am photographing the process of making a doll as a class assignment.”

Adil Ali, an architecture student at NCA, was impressed by the block printing stall.

“I am trying to figure out ways to enhance my buildings and I would use some of these motifs on the walls to give it a more ‘ethnic’ look,” he said.

Ahsan said the students had a unique opportunity to take in traditional methods and modernise them. “We have handmade cards on display that have been made with discarded materials and traditional techniques,” he added.

Natasha Nadeed, another NCA student, said, “The mehrabs (arches) used in the block print design are of great importance to traditional architecture. That is why I have selected these for my assignment.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2011.

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