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The blue art of Pakistan

Discussion in 'General Photos & Multimedia' started by Neo, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. Neo

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    The blue art of Pakistan

    By Saadia Khalid



    ISLAMABAD: The Arts have deep roots in the history and culture of Pakistan and the famous Kashi work has been more deeply entrenched than other art forms due to its appealing blue color and traditional designs.

    Usually known as Kashgari, the famous art form is said to have its roots in the ancient and elegant Gandhara Art and while similar art is found in Cambodia and Thailand it lacks the sophistication of Gandhara.

    According to some historians, the kashgari art in glazed blue ceramics is related to the kashigari originating in Central Asia and Kashgar (China) while some relate it with early art of the subcontinent at the beginning of the first century AD.

    It is used to decorate walls of tombs and also displayed as one of the finest examples of art in the museums of Pakistan and in international museums including the British Museum.

    Whether in the form of hand painted pottery or the works on the walls of a building (usually shrines), blue tile work or decoration pieces, they are equally popular nationwide and internationally.

    Multan and its outskirts are considered the hub for this kind of art and that is why a majority of the tombs and shrines situated in Multan are decorated with this wonderful art.

    This art is usually a family profession of many which is taught from generation to generation with exactness and quality.

    Kashgari does not only involve painting with blue and white colour but a special technique is applied to prepare the blue colour from a mixture of cobalt oxide and copper oxide at temperatures around 1,200 degrees centigrade.

    A quick look at this art may fail to capture the diversity it holds but careful observation reveals that the uniform appearance of the art is actually deceptive and there is great variation in sizes and patterns.

    Moreover, there is a wide range of practical use products including table lamps, crockery, candle stands, vases, fruit baskets and jars available in market and they have always succeeded in grasping the attention of locals and tourists.

    Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan
     
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  2. Habiba Gillani

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    nice.....tht was quite informative:)
     
  3. echo 1

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    magnificest
     
  4. Neo

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    Thanks!
    Here are some pictures I found on the net:

     
  5. Neo

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  7. Neo

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  13. Moin91

    Moin91 SENIOR MEMBER

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    nice pics neo... thanks for share this with us:enjoy:
     
  14. blain2

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    On Arts and Pakistan, here is a good one:

    An Outpost of the Arts, Secured by a Military Dictator

    Akhtar Soomro for The New York Times

    By CARLOTTA GALL
    Published: September 26, 2007

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Sept. 25 — It may be the towering black burqa-clad figures that stand at the entrance, or the brickwork, portholes and curved aluminum skylights of the building itself. Either way, the National Art Gallery, which opened last month, has brought new texture to this otherwise sterile, highly planned capital.
    Skip to next paragraph
    Akhtar Soomro for The New York Times

    The architect Naeem Pasha said that government “ignorance” delayed his project.

    The biggest surprise for most Pakistanis is that the National Art Gallery ever opened at all. It took a marathon 28 years to develop and build, and was a victim of financing shortfalls, bureaucratic inertia and repeated shifts in power under alternate military and civilian governments, which often undid what their predecessors had started.

    For the gallery’s architect, Naeem Pasha, 64, it has been a long labor of love for the sake of art and what the building represents for the country.

    “An art gallery sends a very strong message to the world that we are creative and peaceful, and I want this to be stronger than the act of a suicide bomber,” Mr. Pasha said as he toured the gallery on a recent morning. “His act is one and we are many, and the so many have to be heard, and that is the message that this gallery must make.”

    Sixty years after independence, Pakistan is still struggling with its identity as a state formed for Muslims. Growing Islamic conservatism in Pakistani society and the influence of the mullahs, who generally frown on the figurative arts, have over the years put a brake on the development of art in Pakistan.

    “I think we have been self-censoring ourselves,” Mr. Pasha said. “That defeatist attitude has hurt culture.”

    In 1973, Pakistan’s first populist prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, agreed to the plan for the National Art Gallery and for a national theater, museum and library in a cultural square at the heart of the new capital, which was built as a planned city in the 1960s. But Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew Mr. Bhutto’s government in 1977, and the plan was never developed. A religious conservative, General Zia did not promote the arts.

    In the early 1990s, after the return of civilian rule, the government of Mr. Bhutto’s daughter, Benazir Bhutto, ran a competition for architectural designs for the gallery. Mr. Pasha’s firm won, but later Ms. Bhutto’s successor, Nawaz Sharif, ordered the prime minister’s secretariat to be built on the site chosen for the national arts projects. The gallery was given a site across town, hidden down a slope in the woods.

    After Ms. Bhutto returned to power later in the decade, her minister of culture resurrected the project and gave it its present site on a knoll on Constitution Avenue, overlooking the Parliament and presidency buildings.

    “It’s a building of national importance — it should be on the national boulevard,” Mr. Pasha said. Ms. Bhutto laid the foundation stone in 1996. “She wanted to finish it in one year for the 50th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, but then funds were diverted to the Convention Center,” Mr. Pasha said with a wry smile. Ms. Bhutto was overthrown in 1996, and work on the gallery was suspended.

    “I think it was ignorance on the part of the bureaucracy or the legislature as to how important a painting or an artwork is in the life of the people,” he said. “They say Pakistan is a poor country; people cannot eat. But art is the soul of the country.”

    The half-built skeleton of the national gallery stood derelict for eight more years until the next military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, moved from his army headquarters to the president’s offices, which look out to the gallery site, in January 2005. “He saw that for three, four, five months that not a single person was working on the building,” Mr. Pasha said. Naeem Tahir, director general of the Pakistan National Council of Arts, recalls the president asking him, “What can you do with this eyesore?”

    General Musharraf granted nearly $9 million to finish the building. He opened the gallery last month and toured the exhibitions, which include a large number of irreverent and anti-military pieces, but did not visit a room of nudes by some of Pakistan’s best painters.

    The incongruity of a military dictator being the one to have overseen the completion of the project is not lost on either the architect or the administrator. Mr. Tahir said he was just thankful that this general and his family were admirers of art and music.

    “We have not yet crossed the line,” Mr. Tahir said. “I think we need another 10 years of dedication to the arts.” He said the president had just agreed to the project for a national theater.

    The gallery runs counter to many of the stereotypes of Pakistan’s image today. There is a startling amount of humor and overt sexuality in the exhibits. A pair of suitcases filled with special shower heads for Islamic ablutions, and monumental razors and clippers, poke fun at the needs of the Muslim traveler. Metal sculptures of the female form recall something of the medieval chastity belt. Suspended wooden speakers invite visitors to enter a maze like a pinball machine and batter their heads with the sound of hundreds of madrasa pupils chanting the Koran.

    In the museum, natural light pours into immense spaces from skylights and is diffused by high, curving walls.

    And in a determined rejection of the concept of purely Islamic architecture, Mr. Pasha has drawn on many influences from Pakistan’s past. He has incorporated balconies and galleries from the Moghul era, a courtyard from Central Asian cultures and, from the British Raj, the use of brick, which he calls a humble material.

    “I did not want it to be like the presidency,” Mr. Pasha said in a swipe at the white functionary building across the road. “A people’s building should not be boastful or monumental.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/26/wo...ef=todayspaper
     
  15. cb4

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    The dying blue art of Pakistan

    30th April 2014 | Mudabbir Maajid
    Originating from Iran, Kashi is one of the oldest handicrafts of Sindh. Kashi is a term applied to enamelled work on the Terracotta base. Kashi is a Persian word which means designating to the tiles or trimmed to the form of pieces of faience serving to cover entire, or partial fabric of a building principally decorative.

    A special technique is applied to prepare the blue colour from a mixture of cobalt oxide and copper oxide.

    In Pakistan, the main centres of Kashi Kari are in Multan, Lahore, Thatta, Hala, Nasarpur, Mahra Sharif and Dera Ismail Khan. However, due to lack of resources, the art is fading in the region.

    Here are some pictures of the dying art taken in Nasarpur.

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    The dying blue art of Pakistan - Multimedia - DAWN.COM
     
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