Prints and paintings from East and South Asia under the hammer

LAFT hosts flood benefit art show, work from Pakistan, India, China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia available at PNCA.


Momina Sibtain October 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Prints and paintings by artists of East and South Asia will remain on sale at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) till November 2.

Prints and Paintings from East and South Asia is an eclectic assortment of art work using different themes and mediums to express viewpoints both in vibrant colours and minimalistic black and whites.

There will be a total of 31 works of art by various artists from six Eastern and South Asian countries including Pakistan, India, China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.

This flood benefit art show is being hosted by the Lahore Art Foundation Trust (LAFT).

The artwork also includes works by renowned Pakistani artists Ahmed Khan, the Late Collin David and director of LAFT Saba Husain.

Presided over the opening ceremony, Chairman Institute of Strategic Studies Tanveer Ahmed Khan said that he wanted people to appreciate and understand Asian cultures. “There is a similarity in challenges of globalisation and colonial ethos that all these six countries have witnessed, suffered and emerged from. There is a shared idiom of form and grammar,” he said.

He felt that this art show was a step closer to this understanding. “We have learned about the masters of art from the western world and now it is time that we learnt about the masters from the east,” he added.

From the vibrant pieces of Indian artist Husain featuring astrological signs, to the minimalistic attributes of Noda Testuya from Japan, the exhibit is diverse in style and thought. It appeals to the deeper sensibilities of the viewer.

Ilona Yusuf an Islamabad based writer professes, “The work is terrific, fashion dictates what is sold in the art market but this is for a good cause and the paintings are exquisite.” She said, “The art work is worth buying because the quality of work is exceptional.”

The pieces are marked at a varying spectrum of prices starting from Rs60,000 and some of Ahmed Khan’s Islamic Calligraphy in oil paints and silver foil on canvas peeking approximately Rs600,000.

With prices being kept on the exorbitant side, there was some skepticism regarding the success of the benefit.

Artist Nasreen Aurangzeb said, “It is a very diverse and unique opportunity to view so many artists together. The paintings are exquisite but many won’t be sold simply because there is still a lack of education amongst the people regarding works of art.”

She stressed the need to educate people regarding art. “This ability needs to be honed in children from the very beginning, only then will they grow up to appreciate and buy art.”

She felt schools and parents should all play a role in the child’s artistic development.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2010.

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