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URDU POETRY by FATIMA HASSAN
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A Magazine On Art, Heritage and Culture
Dr. Mohammed Ali Siddiqui
Our cultural history dates back to the Indus Valley civilization, around 3000 BC. More recent excavations in the Balochistan province, near Mehrgarh, have placed us on the dateline further back to 6000 BC. With this background of rich cultural heritage, the mind and sould can not help but be amazed at a diversity, both in a historical context, as well as in contemporary times.
The famous Khyber Pass in Peshawar, Pakistan has been the gateway to influences from other parts of the world for centuries. Conquerors such as Alexander the Great, Gengis Khan, and Mehmud of Ghaznavi came this way. The famous Chinese traveler, H'Sien came here from famous Silk Route through Khunjarab Pass. Pakistan has always been a melting pot for cultures and therefore there are a variety of races, religion and languages.
Since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947, 52 years after Pakistan's birth, there has been no regular magazine focusing on art, heritage and culture. This did not mean that this is a society devoid of art. Obviously there has been no dearth of painters, poets, and musicians and working and evolving through generations and centuries. How can we live in a concrete jungle and alienate ourselves from beauty or from widening our horizons?
Turbulent times have focused the art scene to the background, but its own dynamic momentum has allowed it to surface time and time again, like brief moments of truth. ART PAKISTAN is a culmination of this momentum and energy, which can not be ignored any linger. I request you to applaud those have risen above the common and the mundane, for a higher meaning in life. Never faltering at setbacks, they have continued to give us a treasure to rejoice, as a contribution to our national heritage. Their dedication and persistence is something to ponder about. We will be highlighting such artists or individuals in our coming issues.
Should we not come together and celebrate life for all that it brings us in its various forms, shapes and colors. ART PAKISTAN is a fusion of thoughts-and kaleidoscope of images within our realm.
Art on Wheels
Author: Renata Von Oppen
Publisher: Ferozesons (Pvt) Ltd.
Price: US$ 40/=
Renata von Oppen, bom in East Prussia, the castern-most part of pre- 1Var Germany, came to the former West Germany as a refugee in 1945.
Since 1956, due to her husband's professional postings, she has lived overseas, mainIy in South America. In l985, she accompanied her husband to Pakistan whcre she stayed for seven years. Pos- sessing an exceplionally inquisitive mind, she is always in search of information about different cultures, religions and languages. By virtue of this quality she was encouraged to write this unique book.
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Master Painter in Indian traditional style. An eminent art eductionalist who dedicated his life for art education, 1952 to 1982, at Mayo School of Arts/ National College of Arts, Lahore. His works are noted for subtlity and delicacy of line which defines the pictorial space.
Contemperory Painting in Pakistan
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Contemporary Painting in Pakistan traces the evolution of Painting in Pakistan in the context of national and local art move- ments and the personal development of its major painters. While emphasis is di- rected toward the period after Partition of the subcontinent in 1947, considerable attention has been devoted to the early twentieth century so that the connection with seminal movements, artists, and local history is established. Qf special in- terest are the social and political develop- ments of the subcontinent and world events that have affected the philosophy and production of art.
In the fifties and sixties most painters were eager to paint in an international manner, consequently they looked to Europe for inspiration, al- beit, choosing outdated movements as their model. By the mid seventies, Pakistani painters had outgrown European influence and were seeking to reflect their own culture and history in their art. This study reveals that struggle and coinci- dently illustrates an opus of visually rich and aesthetically beautiful artwork.
About the Author
Received the B.A. in drawing and painting from California State University, Turlock in 1964 and the M.A. in Art and Art History from California State University, Fresno in 1974. Before embarking upon a career in Art History she taught Art in high school and college. Inspired by an extended visit to Europe, the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Dr. Nesom entered the doc- toral program at Ohio State University, Columbus, and received her Ph.D. in Asian Art History in 1984. She has taught Art History at Southwest Missouri State University, California State University, Fresno, and the University of Oregon, Eugene. Currently Dr. Nesom is Assistant Professor of Art History at the Kansas City Art Institute.
Her interest in the art of Abdur Rahman Chughtai topic of her doctoral dissertation led her to the contemporary scene in Pakistan. In addition to numerous articles on Pakistani Art for The Nation in Lahore, she had published in American and International journals of art and lectures on this subject throughout the United States.
Love Sonnets of Ghalib
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Love Sonnets of Ghalib is the first English language book in the 200-year history of Ghalib's poetry that comprises a complete work wherein all of Ghalib's 235 Urdu Ghazals have been translated, transliterated, explicated and their study supported by an extensive lexicon and glossary of terms. The introduction to the book is written by Dr. Farman Fatehpuri, one the best known and acknowledged authors of the Urdu language and a critic of Ghalib's work in the world.
Love Sonnets of Ghalib also includes comprehensive chapters on the history of Urdu language, the Urdu poetry, and the Urdu Ghazal. A primer to Ghalib's poetry includes an introduction to his life and works particular to his unique style of writing, highlighting the difficulties in Love Sonnets of Ghalib.
Thirteen of the classical art works of Sadequain, perhaps the most popular artist of the last century in Pakistan , have been used to illustrate Ghalib's poetry. These artistic renditions beautifully depict the complex themes and aura of these timeless verses.
Love Sonnets of Ghalib has been written after extensive research on most available works on Ghalib's poetry and after intensive consultations with numerous English-speaking scholars of Urdu around the world. It has taken sevral years to complete this work.
Love Sonnets of Ghalib is a scholarly work on Ghalib that takes a straightforward approach to bringing one of the most widely read books in the Urdu literature, Diwan-e-Ghalib, to the understanding reach of the public.
The construction of the book allows the reader to enjoy the verses, both in Urdu and its Romanized transliteration side by side. The Romanized transliteration marks for the first time the availablity of Ghalib's Ghazal Divan in Romanized transliteration for the readers who cannot read the Urdu script.
The book contains an extensive glossary of the vocabulary used in Ghalib's Urdu Ghazals. This includes difficult words, the compound words created by Ghalib as well as themes repeated often in Ghalib's Ghazals.
An index of the first verse of each ghazal with page number has been made for the reader to easily locate the ghazal of choice.
Painting in Pakistan
In writing Painting in Pakistan, Ijaz ul Hassan has, in effect, painted a canvas that stretches from the days of the British raj to contemporary Pakistan. On this canvas are represented the significant art movements as well as painters associated with them. With history as his backdrop, the writer traces the development of painting in the Subcontinent through a study of Bud- dhist, Pala, Gujerati, Mughal, Punjab- Pahari and Sikh schools. In a way, these schools were instrumental in helping painters in their search for identity, in an environment of alienation created during the colonial period.
With the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the post-independence painters felt freer to explore new sensibilities. Highly individualistic styles, expressive of the artists' own ethos, were suddenly seen on canvases. At the same time, certain painters continued their pursuit of reality with a keen sensitivity to light and tone. And then there were artists who became critical commentators of the human condition.
Though admitting his preference for "reality" in art, Ijaz ul Hassan does full justice to the works of all contemporary artists. Written and research over a period of 20 years, Painting in Pakistan is the first and only publication of its kind. It not only gives an overview but also insights into the works of our painters. As an academic, a writer on art, and as an artist, Ijaz ul Hassan approaches his subject with a great deal of knowledge and understanding. Moreover, with the inclusion of 106 - colour plates and 49 monochrome reproductions, the book amply and richly illustrates the themes explored by Ijaz ul Hassan in this elegantly written book.
About the Author
Ijaz ul Hassan has over the years made an important contribution not only as a painter but also as a teacher and art critic. Born in 1940, he has studied at Government College, Lahore, St. Martin's School of Art, London and St. John's College, Cambridge. Associated with the National College of Arts from 1966 to 1975, Ijaz ul Hassan has enhanced the intellectual and aesthetic development of hundreds of young art students. He has been also instrumental in the organisation of the Pakistan and Punjab Artists' Associations, and has helped to improve the level of folk art through his active involvement in the Crafts Counci! of Pakistan.
Ijaz ul Hassan has been regularly writing on painting, art and culture for all major national dailies, magazines, radio and television, as well as international journals. It is, however, as an enormously gifted artist that Ijaz ul Hassan is best known. His work apart from featuring in several one-man shows, has been exhibited in the U.S.A., France, England, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Belgium and Japan, besides many others. In Pakistan his works grace the National Art Gallery, the National Assembly, the Lahore Museum, the Punjab Council of Arts, and the Alhamra Art Centre. He was awarded the President's Award for Pride of Performance, for excellence in the field of painting in 1992.
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The lives and works of three selected artists trace the rhanging social urban landscape of Pakistan. Meher Afroz the printmaker whose pedagogic influence on the new generation of Karachi educated printmakers cannot be denied, has created an oeuvre that reflects a serious concern for the exploited. Her series of paintings and prints can he read as a commentary on socio-political mani- pulations designed to disenfranchise the weak and silence human rights demands.
The central message of Nahid's feminist paintings highlights each culture's need to find it's own solutions to gender bias as prioritized hy it's women rather than a blind adherence to the Western model. In the prolitic career of Sheherezade Alam the potter, can he traced a significant contrihution to the field of ceramics in Pakistan. From the 'I "brown pot" to the sophisticated glazed vessel she has helped to herald the beginning of the end to prejudice against craft.
Recorded in the chapters of this hook are the social and artistic challenges faced by these women artists as they questioned established conventions, sometimes at considerable personal cost. The seminal influence of their art has contributed not only to their individual discipline but spearheaded a transition in attitudes that can be read as a catalyst for change in their social environment.
About the Author
Karachi horn and educated, Niilofur Farrukh found early in life that she could use hoth writing and visual arts with equal facility for personal expression. She graduated in (iraphic Design from the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts, Karachi, in 1974 and hy that time her first short story and poems had already heen puhlished in local magazines. It was the request to write a monograph for a friend's debut art exhihition in 1972 that introduced her to the genre of art reviews. In the last twenty-five years, she has not only published her writings on art in most major newspapers and magazines of the country but also contrihuted to renowned painter Bashir Mirza's hook "Acrylic Series" and developed the concept for a documentary on Meher Afroz.
Nilofur Farrukh heads the Department of Communication Design at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karaehi, where she a)so lectures in History of Communication Design. It is the rich and diverse experience that the author hrings to this book that gives a new perception to Pakistani art as an integral part of societal changes in the last half century. Issues of cultural identity lead to a clase scrutiny of ancestral socio-cultural norms that govern art and crafts practices in the region and their contextual relationship to the
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VANISHING' VISIONS was conceivcd by Jamila Masud as a series of paintings on the traditional urban architecture of Pakistan, portraying the ignoble status to which magnificent old buildings have been relegate.d in many cities. This book presents some of these paintings in the hope that the reader will appreciate Jamila's art as well as be movcd by the strong and emotive underlying plea that a serious effort be undertaken to preserve this irreplaceable heritage before it complctely vanishes.
Through a powerful mixed-media rendering, Jamila brings out the jewel-like intricacies of carvings, mouldings, balconies, and doorways in even the most decrepit structures. Her paintings evokc a strong urgc to protect, preserve, and document this rich cultural legacy. Jamila travelled through thc narrow lanes of the old cities of Lahore and Emnabad, a nearby town, as well as the stn-vts of Karachi where 'old' is synonymous with thc colonial architecture of the British Raj. Jamila is well-known for both her paintings, oils as well as watercolours, and stonc sculpture. She has exhibited extensively in Pakistan and abroad, and her works are in the permanent holdings of museums and privatc collectors. In 1995, she was awarded the President's Medal for Pride of Performance, the highest official accolade for an artist in Pakistan.
The Perishing Havelis of Sindh
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Sindh is about extremes. Vastness, intensity, and paradox – all are qualities that describe this land. The dry hills, the sweltering heat of the great Sindh plains, the delicious cool of Khairpur, and the arid deserts of Thar in comparison to the moderate temperature of Karachi and the rains of its tropical regions – all these contrasts together make Sindh.
The study of traditional architecture in Pakistan has virtually ignored the whole realm of domestic architecture and limited it to monuments. The social and cultural element of a civilization has a vital role in its domestic settlement pattern and house. Without this, to merely study monuments is to study fragments of aculture. A study of domestic architecture of the past serves to restore some of its lost human qualities, which can provide valuable insights for the creation of better and modern architecture.
Perishing Havelis of Sindh is study of the historical evolution of the haveli undertaken by the author that revealed the development of a style of domestic dwelling that is resplendent of a vanishing culture. The book delves into the basic characteristics of a haveli and its usage in the past and present, and its design as a habitat in harmony with Sindhi culture and traditions.
Perishing Havelis of Sindh opens the doors to the readers to a new dimension, a revival of history, a temptation to discover more about Sindh.
The Mughal Garden
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A research study on Mughal garden was started in 1984 jointly by the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Pakistan and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Smithsonian Instituation, Washington DC, USA.
Towards the end of Phase-I of the study, two symposia were planned. One was held in Washington DC, USA in 1992 and the other in Lahore in November, 1993. The two symposia were designed to complement one another yielding separate volumes of essays on Mughal gardens. This volume contains the essays presented at the Lahore Symposium in November, 1993. Though te emphasis was given to the gardens of pakistan but some essays also cover the gardens of Central Asia and India. The proceedings of the first symposium held in Washington DC, USA in 1992 are also being simultaneously published by Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC, USA.
Although internationally famous for their beauty and symbolic meanings, the Mughal gardens have not received the attention they deserved and only a small number has survived. This volume will go a long way to attract the attention of architects, planners, archaeologists, geographers, historians and other related professionals. This will also create an awareness in the general public about the cultural property we have in this part of the world.
This volume has been devided in three parts, each one with a specific theme. The essays in Part I reassess our basic ideas about the gardens built during the Mughal period. The new interpretations are regional, cultural as well as physical. Part II contains essays tha tdiscuss in broad terms the issues and challenges associated with conservatino and upkeep of Mughal gardens. Part III seeks to understand the lessons of Mughal gardens, if any, for modern societies and point towards future questions about the modern meanings of these gardens.
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This books is splendid report on the pioneering archaeological research undertaken by Dr. M. Rafique Mughal in Cholistan. His discoveries along the Hakra River have revolutionized our understanding of the Harappan Civilization. Dr. Mughal’s contribution to South Asian archaeology ranks with thoseof Sir John Marshall, Ernest J. H. Mackay and M.S. Vats and their excavations of Mohenjo’Daro and Harappa. Rafique Mughal is our modern day Sir Aurel Stein.
Dr. Gregory L. Possehl, Professor and Chairman, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, USA. In his book on Harappan Civilization and Rojdi (1989), he wrote, “Mughal’s findings on the Pakistan side of the bordre represent one of the most impressive archaeological feats of this century in the subcontinent.
A brilliant script which has opened a new chapter of Harappan research. Mughal’s careful research and analysis will provide a source of study for generations.
Dr. Michael Jansen, Professor and Dean, Aachen University, Germany.
Images of Karachi
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When I started taking photos in and around Karachi I had no specific themes in mind but as time went by and roll after roll of film was developed, I realised there were three topics which seemed to be more prominent that others. They were portraits of the wonderful people, means of transport and things being transported and the amazind street vendors and tradesman. As my collection of photos rapidly grew into a small album I was encouraged by many of my friends ot contact a publisher tosee if there was ay possiblity of compiling a book of these photo. There did not seem to be a book in print on the topics I had chosen, so I thought I would try my luck and contacted Ferozsons publishers. To my sheer and utter delight they accepted my offer and agreed to publish my book. This is in fact where my “labour of love” really started. From then on my camera never left my side. It was a race against time as my husband’s contract was coming to an end and we were due to leave Pakistan in less than three months. There is always something new to be seen in Karachi and there was no lack of subjects for my camera.
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Gulgee. My work is the externalisation of my inner journey. Through it I communicate with the pulse of life. The Calligraphic form and movement that emerges is not predetermined or cerebral, it is intuitive and articulates something deep inside me.
It is important that no thought of how people will react to my work intrudes, as that would destroy the thread and take the thruth away.
I am enchanted by Islamic calligraphy and feel close to the Sufis mystics. At the mustic level barriers meld away and religious experience whether Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim becomes one.
One could call it human experience of the ineffable.
For me the medium of the unknown is space and the calligraphic choreography of my painting is the dance of the dervish. To me the act of painting is the making real of the essential and Yogic experience of life as pure movement.
I find it difficult to speak about my paintings because the act of putting together words only explains and cannot make real the experience, which for me, is the only reality, the only value that gives meaning to my life.
Therefore I will end this by adding that I live only when I paint. The rest is but a wait, a preparation mixed with prayer for crossing the threshold-form life into the experience of life.