Beyond The Page - Contemporary Art From Pakistan

By Graham Spicer | 15 August 2006
painting of a man and a woman in robes on a patterned green and orange background

Beings In Flight by Nusra Latif Qureshi. Courtesy Asia House

A new exhibition of contemporary art from Pakistan is opening as part of the national Festival of Muslim Cultures.

Beyond The Page: Contemporary Art From Pakistan launches on August 30 at Asia House in London then will tour around the country from September 30 2006.

The exhibition will introduce the vitality and diversity of contemporary Pakistani art, and the artists on show are all trained in, or respond to, the region’s ‘miniature’ tradition.

Miniature painting developed at Islamic and Hindu courts in Asia from the 14th to 19th centuries. In recent years there has been rekindled interest in the form and it has become one of the region’s most significant artforms again. The exhibition explores how miniature practice has become an attitude to art.

painting of a man with moustache and headress in an ornate gold frame

I Love Miniatures by Rashid Rana. Courtesy Asia House

Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999), one of the featured artists, was one of the principal architects of the revival of miniature practice in Pakistan. Artists like Hamra Abbas, Aisha Khalid, Hasnat Mehmood, Mohammed Imran Qureshi, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Rashid Rana and Usman Saeed have built on this, transforming the miniature format using diverse techniques and media.

The exhibition’s venue, Asia House, is a centre helping to promote greater appreciation and understanding of Asian culture, religions and economies and to promote communication between people of Asia and Europe.

“We are very excited to host this exhibition at Asia House as part of the Festival of Muslim Cultures,” said Stefan Kosciuszko, Chief Executive of Asia House.

“In conjunction with our role as Secretariat of the Pakistan Britain Trade and Investment Forum, Asia House is honoured to be presenting Pakistan business and culture at the highest level.”

painting of a dark haired woman in a red dress with a model of a house in front of it. There are two detailed images of this artwork next to a full shot of it

Please Do Not Touch, Stay Out, And Enjoy The Show (details) by Hamra Abbas. Courtesy Asia House

The Festival of Muslim Cultures began in January 2006 and continues until summer 2007 and is working with arts and educational institutions across the country to foster understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, to promote respect for Muslim cultures and to demonstrate how culture can link different communities. Its patron is HRH the Prince of Wales.

Events will range from exhibitions to film, literature and the performing arts to talks, seminars and youth projects.

After its run at Asia House, Beyond The Page will visit Manchester, Nottinghamshire, Birmingham and Huddersfield – see the Festival of Muslim Cultures website for full details of this and its other events.

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