I Live Pakistan: Three generations of artists sketch the true image of peaceful Pakistan

The exhibition was described by critics as a unique combination of versatile artists and sculptors, who presented a piece of art that reflected their patriotic zeal

Art is known for stirring up revolutions that help build solid nations. Especially during times of turmoil or instability, art has been acknowledged for keeping the spirits high while giving its artists a chance to vent out.

Art in Pakistan has played a significant role throughout various political regimes. At various occasions, it has uplifted the mood of the nation, which brought prosperity and a renewed passion for patriotism. Realising this, Studio RM in collaboration with Studio Seven held an exhibition of art that celebrated the significant value of our motherland. The show, curated by the famous Irfan Gul and the critically acclaimed RM Naeem exhibited the art within Pakistan by 26 artists of three generations from across the nation.

Titled I Live Pakistan, the exhibition was described by art critics as a unique combination of versatile artists and sculptors, who presented a piece of art that reflected their patriotic zeal. The show commencing on New Year’s Eve carried on throughout the New Year and concluded in the midweek of January. While most people indulged in personal celebrations, I Live Pakistan was a gentle reminder to the nation to set up new goals and aspirations for peace and national prosperity during this new year.

The curatorial note for the catalog of the exhibition read:

“We are witnessing the hard times of political and economic turmoil, which is affecting the social behavior in general. We feel that there is a need to engage our nation in various creative activities to add value, hope and positivity in our lives and project a softer image of Pakistan as a peaceful nation.”

Abdul Jabbar at I Live Pakistan

Offering different textures and materials, and ranging from oil and acrylic paints to mixed media such as wood, ceramics, glass, fiber and gold sheet paper (also popularly known as panni locally), the artworks were beautiful and thought provoking. The curators’ works were exceptional awe-inspiring. Irfan Gul’s work for this exhibition has been described as a ‘huge artwork of mix media to form rectangles in the proportion of the national flag’ titled Tera Mera, while RM Naeem showcased love for the nation by putting up a beautiful render of the flag painted with acrylic on canvas.

One of the most exquisite pieces was a sculpture by the eminent Abdul Jabbar Gull. The piece called My First Love was a 20x40 inches Wood Brass and Aluminum presentation of the national flag. Other works of art that captivated art lovers’ attention included a sculpture titled Shad Baad Manzile Murad by Munawar Ali Syed. Another interesting piece of art was by Maria Khan presenting works with charcoal in black and red called Blooming Bouqet having the star of our flags peeping from behind the red roses. Ashan Jamal painted his canvas with cricket craziness showing a cricket lover decorating his room in green and white. Art critics noted it to be very engaging as it depicted hope emerging from within the darkness, giving all Pakistanis a vision of positive change.

The younger generation of artists exhibiting their work depicted hope along with renewed vision. Grass Stained and Sky Doused by Dua Abbas is worth mentioning here. Abid Aslam’s art featured the popular mode of transport rickshaw. Designed and using the colours off lag, it celebrated the spirit of the local culture and its importance in our lives. Well known as a designer too, Noor Jehan Bigrami showcased her An Event in History, while Amra Khan’s Gama Pakistan and I Love Pakistan by the seasoned artist Ahmed Khan were well-loved by the viewers.

It’s interesting to note, or perhaps is a coincidence, that the artists used the national flag as the theme of their painting. The exhibition received immense appreciation by the who’s who of the art world, as well as the public in general. Art lovers also took to social media sharing the message of peace and national unity while lauding the exhibition which had a unique taste to it.

Marian Sharaf Joseph is an independent journalist. Her work for local and global publications focuses on culture and community affairs