Despite being batch mates, they are their own people - each unique in their own right. That is what made each of the 97 graduating students of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture stand out at the convocation ceremony on Saturday.
The sure-footed ambiance was unmistakable at the 20th convocation of the school as each student believed they possessed a unique skill that would add to the aesthetics of this world. After the academic procession, the graduating students, adorned in gold and teal robes and sporting caps made out of susi fabric, took their seats.
Of the students who graduated on Saturday, 18 were enrolled in architecture, 22 in textile design, 25 in communication design, 15 in fine art and three had studied interior design. Fourteen more students had completed their post graduate diploma, including six each in apparel design and photography while another two in video and television.
“The institution has given us more than knowledge - it has given us direction,” said Hamza Masood Khan, an architecture graduate who was also the valedictorian with a CGPA of 3.33. “I speak not as an individual, but as the embodiment of this school’s spirit.”
In his valedictorian speech, Khan reminded his colleagues of the responsibility that they now shouldered. “We are faced by difficult times as the concepts of morality and tolerance seem to be fading away,” he explained. “It, therefore, becomes a duty for us, as artists, designers and visionaries, to channel our creative endeavours toward promoting peace and prosperity of our home.
“This building transforms,” said Khan, pointing towards the Nusserwanjee Building, that 100-year-old Kharadar landmark, named after Karachi’s philanthropist, Jamshed Nusserwanjee. The building was relocated, brick by brick, to Clifton around 12 years ago.
“As time progresses, this campus becomes something more than a building, something more human - a hub of feeling, memories and emotions and most of all, the source of our self-discovery,” added Khan.
“Having no such background in arts, this place was a little unfamiliar to me,” said Khan, recalling the time when during the foundation year, they kept drawing and redrawing a similar sketch all day long or struggled to draw straight lines freehand, sitting on the bare floors of the campus. Then there were times when the teachers directed them to stand facing toward a wall for hours after which they had to write an essay about the wall.
“Very soon, I realised, however, that what the IVS was doing was breaking me away from the redundant cycle of the world that I was used to,” said Khan. “It was opening avenues of creativity and imagination for me - the foundation year was the toughest, but by far, the most memorable experience at the IVS.”
The keynote speaker, Muhammad Hanif, a prominent Pakistani fiction-writer, advised the graduates to never lose hope as fine art was the one field that required dedication and perseverance. “It is not easy to sell fine art nowadays,” added Hanif.
Earlier, Samina Raees Khan, the executive director of the institution, in her welcome address, hoped that the students who will be awarded their graduate and post graduate qualification would not only be humble and balanced designers, artists and architects but also good human beings.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 15th, 2013.
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