Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Proud Milestone for Pakistan & Asian Art

by Artwallaa

Periodically, Artwallaa intends to scribble some editorial notes on the art scene in Pakistan. These will be more personal notes based on personal observations.

Inauguration of Imran Qureshi's solo exhibition at the KunstHalle (formerly Guggenheim) Berlin, is a very proud moment for not only the artist but the whole of the art fraternity in Pakistan and Asia.

Apart from the official coverage (some of which we have posted below and more to come), some titbits ......

A Little Bird tells Artwallaa .....
  • Imran has become the first Asian artist to get the Deutsche Bank's global artist award
  • This is the biggest ever solo exhibition by a Pakistani contemporary artist in the Western hemisphere
  • there were over 1,000 attendees at the opening, with queues outside
  • Over 60 journalists participated in the the press conference earlier in the day
  • the exhibition had become even more important because of the renaming (and launching) of the Deutsche Museum from Guggenheim to KunstHalle.
  • Pakistan art fraternity was represented by Imran's better half - Aisha Khalid, Dr Shabnum Khan, Faiza Butt, Amna Naqvi, Bani Abidi, Wardha Shabbir (who is doing her residency in Brussels) and the honorary Pakistani - Virginia Whiles.
  • Pakistan government staked a claim as well and was represented by none other than the Ambassador to Germany himself.
  • The gift shop at the museum was equipped with special art(-efacts) from Pakistan including Sultan Rahi posters, truck-art inspired cushion covers, lamp-shades; chinioti wooden combs, etc.
  • There were Imran Qureshi posters all over Berlin. The ones bearing Imran's 'Dexter' look are a big hit, locally and back home.
  • Imran and her spouse were in desi clothes - Imran in a shalwar kameez and Aisha in a saree.
  • The exhibition is a must see especially the way minitiature painting have been displayed - dark rooms, low ceilings and the works divided through a maze.
  • The book published alongside the exhibition is brilliant. It has more than 300 images, covers the whole body of Imran's work, gives one of the best descriptions of NCA by a foreign publication, and beautifully produced.
The exhibition is on till August. Do try to go and see it.

Dare we say that after Iqbal and Anne Marie Schimmel, Imran is making Pakistan famous in Germany. Dankeschön Imran !

With Imran, Rashid Rana, Shazia Sikander and Aisha Khalid firmly establishing themselves as International artists and a very strong second wave of artists getting into the footsteps of these four masteroes, Pakistan art scene is on the way up. It has taken us twenty years (since the early nineties) to resurrect our artistic ouvre from the dark ages of Zia-ul-Haq, but let me tell you today - Pakistan art is Back to the days when the Sadequains, the Bashir Mirzas, the Shemzas of Pakistan art used to be mainstream global artists !

Long live Pakistan and the creative spirit of its people !

Imran is everywhere in Berlin ..........
Photo: Imran Qureshi in Berlin!!!Photo: And the countdown begins!!!

Source: A Little Bird


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