Islamabad Pakistan Art
The Islamabad Art Festival (IAF) is a powerful demonstration of cultural diversity hosted by an enthusiastic and committed art community in the capital. The first - a 13-day international art festival featuring artists from at least 34 countries - was due to open in the German capital on Monday. This is led by the president and chief curator Jamal Shah, who is working to bring the performing arts together on an unprecedented scale. It's an aesthetic encounter between tradition and modernity, "Shah said, adding that it explores the need to think about differences and similarities.
The IAF also focuses on highlighting art forms that have not yet been fully implemented in Pakistan, such as photo exhibitions and numerous films that will be shown at the International Film Festival of Pakistan (IFFP) in Lahore from 14 to 16 April.
Buddhist sculptures from Pakistan, including the Museo d'Arte Orientale in Turin, as shown below, and the National Museum of Pakistan in Lahore.
This article is based on "Pakistani Homeland and Buddhism" and is published by South Asia. The recently published article, which is exhibited at the National Museum of Pakistan in Lahore and is part of the museum's exhibition "Buddhism in Pakistan: Archaeology, Art and Culture," is the first part of an ongoing research project. This larger project is tentatively titled "Unearthing and Investigating the Archaeological and Cultural Heritage of the Indian Subcontinent and the Pakistan Homeland of Buddhism." In concrete terms, Buddhist sites in Pakistan have been excavated since 1955 and complemented by one of the oldest archaeological projects in India and one of the projects unearthed in Pakistan.
Pakistan has a rich culture of arts and crafts, some of which date back 2,000 years to the time of the Buddha. Remember that there is a diversity in Pakistani society that cannot be taken into account, and this is in no way intended to stereotype any Pakistanis you might meet.
Pakistan's archaeology and museum department has sent Buddhist artifacts to burnish Pakistan's international image. Pakistani museums have mobilized ancient Buddhist remains to connect Pakistan with classical Greece and Rome, orient Pakistan toward Southeast Asia, rapidly draw national boundaries, and forge new global links. The earliest of these was published specifically to underscore a vision of national history.
The Gallery of Contemporary Art in Rawalpindi, which has been directed by the artist Zubeida Agha (1922-1997) since 1961, includes works by artists such as Zainab Khan, Zafar Ali and Zia-ul-Haq. The main goal of the art gallery was to cultivate art activities in Islamabad and in Pakistan as a whole.
More broadly, the exhibition of Buddhist art in Pakistan provides an opportunity to explore the relationship between Buddhism and Islam in Pakistan, as explored in my recent article "Pakistan's Homeland of Buddhism."
The photographs are scenes of daily life in Pakistan and Japan, with landscapes and portraits that together create an intimacy with both countries.
The next exhibition of paintings celebrates Pakistan as a living Gandhara, framing what is now Pakistan as the embodiment of an ancient Buddhist region. Although Pakistan today has no Buddhist population, there is a Buddhist minority in the country, and Pakistan has both its western and eastern wings. There are several other artists from Pakistan and Japan whose works have also received attention, including a number of photographers from India, China, South Korea, Japan, the United States, India and China.
The participation of Italian archaeologists in Pakistan has brought much about postcolonial Pakistan to light in ways that may seem surprising at first, such as the presence of Buddhist art in the country.
In the decades immediately after independence, an important political development took place that would shape modern Pakistani art. When scholar and historian Aziz Ahmad observed in 1965 that "Pakistan's Westernized elites take the country's modern art seriously," he commented on the evolving reception of Pakistani art in the United States by saying, "Reception has evolved.
As the cultural and political tensions that led to East Pakistan's independence from Bangladesh increased, a shift to the ancient Buddhist past gained traction. Moreover, the new nation's rapidly drawn borders - the rapidly growing borders of the state posed the challenge for early Pakistani officials to make sense of a new nation-state with a divided geography, which Pakistan's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, famously called "moth-eaten."
The country's nascent museum network used Buddhist artifacts to argue that Pakistan's recent separation from India was based on ancient history. Pakistani historians, meanwhile, imagined the Buddhist remains creatively as evidence of the influence of the ancient Brahmins, and early Pakistani museum curators and archaeologists turned their attention to the exhibition of ancient stories in the new Muslim nation. The Buddhist past served as a means of establishing historical links between the ancient and modern world, and between Pakistan and India.