‘Armoured Person Carriers’ at VM Art gallery


Express April 28, 2010

KARACHI: “The reproduction of historic arms and armour is a unique occupation practiced by a very few enthusiasts around the world.”

So says Shehzad Hyder, in a press release, describing his work which goes on display at an exhibition, titled “Ancient Warriors”. The show opens at 6 pm today at the V.M. Art Gallery and will go on till May 10. Hyder decided to work with the concept of creating armour for his latest exhibition to keep the “ancient craft alive as part of human heritage”. Modern-day armourers are also often hired by museums to reproduce or restore authentic pieces of armour, he states. And history is something Hyder had always been interested in.

“Keeping up the armouring tradition is one of my strongest passions; it is to me, even more sacred than religion, every blow of my hammer honours and reminds me of the craftsmen of the past, who produced suits of such high quality despite such limited technology during that time,” Hyder says. Hyder believes that following a b s o l u t e h i s t o r i c authenticity is paramount in reproducing historic artifacta, as is a detailed research and good metalsmithing skills as they play a significant role in keeping the craft alive. “Any deviation from it would kill the whole concept of reproduction and replication of ancient artefacts,” Hyder states.

Hyder says he has always been interested in stories about medieval knights, samurais, Rajputs and Mughals. Their stories and movies inspired him to make replicas for himself as they were not available or sold at toy stores when he was a child, he says. Hyder is a self-taught sculptor and a commercial design graduate from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. He has been working with the concept of the reproduction of historic arms and armours costumes for about a decade.

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