Friday, September 7, 2012

Quddus advises collectors to look beyond visual quality of art

Do not look at art for its visual quality alone; appreciate art for its spirit and its modern worth and value.

 Renowned Pakistani artist and curator Quddus Mirza gave this piece of advice to art collectors while delivering a talk at Satrang here late Wednesday evening. The lecture was the first of a series of artist talks to be organised by the gallery as part of a new venture for the promotion of art education in Pakistan.

 Prominent among the audience was Swedish Ambassador Lars-Hjalmar Wide. The lecture was also attended by students and faculty of Roots School System, Froebel’s International School, Beaconhouse School System, and faculty of the National College of Arts, including artists Nadia Rahat, Nadia Hussein Batool, Zaira Ahmed, Sophiya Khwaja, Osman Hayder and Aleem Dad Khan.

 Quddus Mirza discussed his unique career in the art world, and the state of the current art market. He also expressed his views on commercial and non-commercial art. “When somebody asked me to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial art, I said it is the same as the difference between a married woman and a prostitute. While both perform the same service, a prostitute does so for money and wife, for love. So the market has given birth to many prostitutes and many housewives,” he remarked.

 On a more philosophical note, Quddus said, “People change but their voice remains the same.” He termed love and death as the most important realities of life.

 Addressing students of art, Quddus advised them to adopt a serious approach towards art. “Art is not looking at something for a second and moving on. I deliberately made work which invite the viewer to pause and concentrate,” he said.

 A passionate proponent of the arts, Quddus is an associate professor at the National College of Arts in Lahore. Trained as a painter from NCA, Lahore, and Royal College of Art, London, he has exhibited his work extensively in numerous international and national exhibitions.

 Quddus is the co-author of the book ‘50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan’ and has written numerous essays on Pakistani art in various international publications.

 Thanking the participants, Asma Khan, the curator of Satrang, informed that SerenArts is the only institution in the country that has offered an internship scholarship with a stipend to two deserving students from the NCA. “We hope that this will continue to be a coveted and prestigious opportunity for aspiring art graduates,” she said.

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