LAHORE: A 15-day art exhibition arranged by the Artists’ Association of Punjab (AAP) kicked off here at Alhamra Art Gallery on Thursday displaying the works of about 200 artists from all the provinces of the country.
The exhibition was formally inaugurated by former foreign minister who himself is an artist and an executive member of the AAP Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali while distinguished painter and the AAP Chairman Mian Ijaz ul Hassan, Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Director Visual Arts Amna Patuadi and a large number of artists also attended the inaugural ceremony.
As many as 250 artworks including paintings, prints sculptures and graphic arts would be on display for fifteen days in the 32nd annual exhibition arranged by the Artists’ Association of Punjab.
Sharing the details of the exhibition with Pakistan Today, AAP Chairman Mian Ijaz ul Hassan said that the art exhibition has been divided into three sections. “The first section is of general artwork while the second section has been designated for the work on terror and violence. The third section, he said, is named ‘Old Masters of Pakistan’ as it features the works of our legendary painters and artists,” said Hassan, who is a recipient of the Pride of Performance award.
He added that one can see in the works the deep observation of our artists hailing from far-flung districts and villages, and therefore a majority of the artists invited to the exhibition is from such areas.
He was of the view that we cannot connect with the future without having an association with the past and therefore the work of old masters and legends have been displayed in the exhibition to aware the young artists of the veterans’ works.
The artists have used different tools including watercolours, oil on clothes and oil on canvas to depict violence, various social issues, rural landscapes, mountains and different pictures of the old city of Lahore in their works. Moreover, the old masters whose works have been featured include the legendary A.R Chughtai, Haneef Ramay, Ustaad Allah Bakhsh, Shakir Ali, Sadeqain, Gulgee, Moene Najmi, Khalid Iqbal, Ali Imam and A.J.Shemza.
Zahid Ashraf, an artist who came from Gujrat, told this scribe that he used watercolours to paint a portrait of the old Lahore that is still a fascination for many people. He said that the government must increase its focus towards such exhibitions and there is a need to promote artwork in the country as people can express their feelings through their paintings and it is the best way of catharsis.
Talking to Pakistan Today, former foreign minister Sardar Aseff Ahmed Ali said that we have been plagued with many traumas ranging from the massacre at the Army Public School to the recent tragedy of Kasur where an innocent girl was killed after being raped, but the best way to challenge such tragedies is to use a brush or pen for painting and writing.
“This exhibition is a unique blend of old and young generation of artists that depict the ample picture of our society keeping in view the prevailing situation of violence everywhere,” he said.
The exhibition arranged with the support of the Lahore Art Council would be open to everyone for the next 15 days.