‘Art has a positive future in Pakistan’

A question was raised as to how galleries select artwork to be displayed

Hafsah Sarfraz April 25, 2015
Figurative paintings showcase life of women in Thar. PHOTO: HUMA CHoUDHaRY/EXPRESS


Panelists expressed optimism about the market for art in the country at a discussion on “Art and the Market”.

The panel conversation at the ILF featured White Turban Art Consultancy Director Ambereen Karamat, Canvas Art Gallery CEO Sameera Raja, Satrang Art Gallery Director Asma Rashid Khan and My Art World Curator Zara Sajid, with artist, critic and art educator Quddus Mirza as the moderator.

While speaking about art and the market, a question was raised as to how galleries select artwork to be displayed.

Khan said that she had always picked artwork according to her and the curator and the gallery’s staff’s preference. “I do not look into commercial demand; if I believe in the artist, if I believe in the artist’s work and if the work seems good to the team, it goes to the gallery,” she said.

Raja spoke about the changing trends in the art market.

“Demand has increased exponentially and people have become more interested in buying art,” she said.

Raja said that it could be because their interior decorators were suggesting them to purchase artwork, or it had become a fashion trend or because they genuinely understand and appreciate artwork, but people now do come and buy art.

“The trend has definitely changed. I have noticed so many young people saving up money to buy and collect art,” said Khan. “One can only be hopeful about the future of the art market in Pakistan,” she added.

“There are all kinds of customers, some of whom are aware of precisely the kind of artwork they want and understand its aesthetics and then there are customers who come and bring names of artists whose work they are interested in purchasing,” Karamat said.

In a separate session, on the themes of art, particularly on reading art and art education, the need to teach theory at art schools was discussed.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2015.


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