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Event Summary

sanat initiative
Sep 14
Starting time
Ending time

Event Details & Reservation

In the words of Aziz Sohail:

I first met Maryam and Marjan as students at the National College of Arts in Lahore. They expressed a deep interest in history and its relationship to the present and how they navigated their Iranian identity within the Pakistani setting. 

There is precedent for this relationship. Their continues to this day a cultural link that Iran shares with Pakistan. The language of the Mughal court, the last empire that ruled over the Indian subcontinent before the British Raj used Persian in the court. The deep cultural links led to flourishing of miniature painting and architecture that was in conversation with the global Persianate world. In unique ways, both Marjan and Maryam evoke and rediscover that language in a contemporary form at the same time as utilizing different mediums and ways of painting. 

Maryam, who is trained in the miniature tradition that has been revived and revitalized in Pakistan depicts her contemporary reality through this classical language. The location and geography of the National College of Arts and the city of Lahore, its architecture rooted in a colonial past, are reimagined as if they are present in a miniature painting. Every single detail is painted and preserved. There is a sense of vitality of the present and optimism of the future which is alive, bold and continuously evolving.

Marjan, on the other hand, looks at another symbol of the past i.e. the world famous Persian carpet. The object is a symbol of great wealth and tradition. Each carpet is made painstakingly over many months and years and each design is unique. This unique commodity which was perfected in Iran and then inspired other traditions in spaces such as Afghanistan and Pakistan is one of the most well-known symbols of Iran.

The carpet is a sign of civilizational achievement. In some way then, the depiction of worn carpet, breaking and edging at the seams by Marjan, is a depiction of the rupture and turbulent modernity we find ourselves within today.

Shah Abdullah Alamee was also trained in miniature painting at the National College of Arts and hails from Quetta, belonging to the Hazara minority, and thus subverting neatly national categories. His background includes a strong relationship to the Persianate language and his practice which is evident in his current practice. He aims to embark on self exploration through his work in figurative and non figurative language deployed in imagery that recalls elements of fiction. The result is highly imaginary and mystical, evoking ideas of another world. 

The resultant works of these three emerging artists are complex, using diverse imagery to tell stories of times gone and to come, showcasing rich diversity in exchange.

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