By Roy Lie Atjam
The Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands has organized an exhibition of Pakistani contemporary art “PAKART” in The Hague.
The exhibition runs from 17th December 2022 to 8th January 2023. The grand overture was on 16th December 2022, in the presence of many Ambassadors based in The Hague and persons with interest in art.
His Excellency Ambassador Suljuk Mustansar Tarar is an aesthete person. He is the publisher of the book All That Art. The book is about vibrant Pakistani art and its global presence and recognizes the work of several artists across different generations – both in Pakistan and abroad.
Moreover, the book looks at art and architecture from an insider and a distance. It is an art critique that narrates individual stories and trajectories of a select group of artists through a personal lens.
Pakistan and the Netherlands will mark 75 years of their diplomatic relations in 2023. PAKART is a Public and Cultural Diplomacy initiative by the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands to bring Pakistani art, culture and heritage to the people of the Netherlands.
PAKART exhibition brings the works of twelve renowned Pakistani contemporary artists belonging to three generations showing the depth and breadth of visual artwork done in Pakistan. It includes traditional miniature, painting, landscape painting, printmaking, sculpture, and video installations.
Participants in the exhibition are some of Pakistan’s leading and internationally known: Atif Khan, Bashir Ahmed, Fawad Jafri, Imran Channa, Imran Qureshi, Iram Wani, Jamil Baloch, Naheed Fakhar, Nazir Ahmed, Noor Chagani, R. M. Naeem, and Yaseen Khan.
Ambassador Suljuk Mustansar Tarar related how the exhibition was curated and the current status of contemporary art in Pakistan. He mentioned different types of work and how contemporary miniature painting from Pakistan has become a global art movement.
He also mentioned the cultural links between Pakistan and the Netherlands and that Pakistani visual artists like others in the world have been inspired by the Dutch masters during their education or careers.
The artist Imran Channa was present at the exhibition showing three of his works. Two are erased drawings, Pasts in Pencil. Medium: pencil and erasure on paper. Size: 50×76 cm. Year: 2018.
The other work is The Promised Land. Year: 2022. In an interview, Imran recounted it as a three-channel interactive video game installation based on Dutch East Indies Film archives from the Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam.
The artist made each object with Autodesk Maya, Zbrush, Substance Painter, and Unreal Engine 4 and programmed the game. Guests had the opportunity to try their hand.
Furthermore, call it the centrepiece of the show, safely behind the glass was an artwork by Noor Chagani. Title: Pillars of Pakistan, Medium: Concrete. Size: 28.5 x 7.5 inches. Year: 2021.
Mrs. Dewi van de Weerd, the Dutch Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation, also spoke at the occasion. She very much appreciated the hosting of the exhibition the Pakistan embassy is leveraging cultural diplomacy.
A Pakistani treat of drinks and snacks was served.
It has been an evening replete with art and colours from Pakistan.