What an exceptional and exclusive opportunity it was for about thirty members and guests of the Arts Society The Hague to be invited to Pakistan House on Friday 14 October! The Special Event was organized by the Embassy of Pakistan in cooperation with the AS The Hague, on the subject of contemporary trends in art and culture in Pakistan.
Introduced by (retired) Ambassador Andrea Perugini, Chairman of the AS The Hague, His Excellency Suljuk Mustansar Tarar, Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, gave a special lecture based on his recent book “All That Art”. Rich in colorful slides and powerpoint explanations, the Ambassador presented a comprehensive overview of the vibrant Art of Pakistan and its global significance. He showed paintings and works of art of a number of artists from his country, and commented on the differences in generations and styles, both in Pakistan and abroad, thus allowing the audience to look at art both from the inside as well as from a distance.
The Ambassador proved to be an able and eloquent art critic, narrating the individual stories and trajectories in style and artistic production of a selected group of contemporary artists from his country through a personal lens thanks to his past experience and his wide contacts. Early on in his life he had been exposed to the works and creative processes of many of Pakistan’s leading artists, while visiting their studios and interacting with them because of their friendship with his distinguished father, one of the most famous contemporary living Pakistani writers. Ambassador’s Tarar’s knowledge was further enhanced by the fact that he attended the National College of Arts in Lahore and was subsequently, as a diplomat, posted to New York, where he became acquainted with the art and architecture of multi ethnic societies, enjoying this city’s rich cultural heritage and following its roots of abstract impressionism.
During the course of his very varied lecture he highlighted in particular the revival of Pakistani miniature and landscape art and paintings. A new, original and unexpected world of knowledge opened up for the members and guests of the AS The Hague who were surprised and captivated by the richness of his presentation. The evening was enlivened by an excellent musical programme of classical opera arias from Mozart and Dancla performed by the duo “The New Phoenix Ensemble”, with Letizia Maula’, clarinet, and Sylvia Cempini, cello. Both were welcomed with enthusiastic applause by the audience and a rich buffet of Pakistani delicacies closed the evening.
A reference was made by both Ambassadors to the unprecedented floods that caused casualties and so much destruction in Pakistan. Thanks to members’ contributions and a successful raffle of valuable Pakistani art and culture books made available both by the the AS The Hague, and the Pakistan Embassy, the Arts Society was able to raise, in symbolic solidarity with the affected populations, an amount of 1,215 Euros which was donated to the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund.
The Arts Society the Hague is happy to participate in further similar Special Events with other Embassies interested in reaching out to the wider Dutch and International audience represented by its membership in The Netherlands.