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Fomma (Foundation of Museum of Modern Art)

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Home Making Waves: Contemporary Art in Pakistan

Making Waves: Contemporary Art in Pakistan


Making Waves: Contemporary Art in Pakistan











Rooted in the practice of the present. Making Waves, a compilation of published art reviews, attempts to identify and examine recent art trends and the forces defining their development.

New media arts are established genres in the West but their artistic expression and public displays have escalated in Pakistan only in the last few years. Retooling their kits with fresh ideas, young minds are seeking new pastures. Their art is fueled by the technology revolution and mass media proliferation and they are locating their subjects and accessing materials from the wide spectrum of populist culture. Art making is evolving in an atmosphere of cultural turmoil, where tradition and modesty exist in (un) happy confusion. Volatile political conditions, religious constraints, socio economic crisis, gender inequalities, ethnic strife, violence and state censorship are other significant determinants. This volume reviews these shifts and the changing look and feel of art.

Diverse manifestations of this new sensibility are documented in the opening chapter, Mixed Media and Multi Media. Pages devoted to the Contemporary Miniature chronicle the indigenous disciplines’ new adventures. This radical redefinition of traditional art practices continues in the chapters on Sculpture, Drawing and Painting. Struggling genres and art related activities are gaining momentum and their journey is chartered in segments pertaining to Print Media, Video, Ceramics, Art Craft, Curators Wanted and Residency Programs. The status of graduate art is deliberated upon in Art Education. In many places where contemporary art institutions are in their infancy conceptually centered art, as against a tradition based aesthetic, is seeking new frontiers for its validation and text in Dialogues on Art examines these new realities through a transnational perspective.

A new art history is in the making and this volume concentrates on this progression by evaluating art and artists in the light of what they are exhibiting, who is responding to their art and why.

Making Waves contains 252 pages, with 175 images in color and 161 images in black and white.

About The Author

Salwat Ali, born in Karachi in 1952, studied at Holland Park School, Airlie Gardens London in her early years but was mainly educated at St Josephs€ Convent, one of the premier educational institutions for girls in Pakistan where she was a student of art since Junior School.

In 1974, after graduation from Karachi University, she joined Paksitan Art Institute to pursue advanced education in art under the tutelage of artist Aftab Zafar, a teacher known for his strict regimen of drilling art €basics into his students. A drawing curriculum emphasizing co-ordination between hand and mind and exercises of painting with feeling complemented with on-job training in the final years, equipped Ali with the necessary understanding and skills to become a practicing artist. A course in writing from the London School of Journalism sparked her interest in art writing. As founder member and Associate Writer of the Fine Arts Society she commenced formal writing on art for local publications in the early nineties. She has been writing on a weekly and monthly basis for the country's leading newspapers and periodicals. Currently she contributes regularly to Dawn Gallery, art supplement of Daily DawnArtline, the special art pages of the magazine Newsline.

In 2005 Fomma published Laila Shahzada Exploring an Inner Landscape, a volume she wrote on the life and times pf a prominent woman artist of the sixties. Her award winning publication Journeys of the Spirit: Pakistani Art in the New Millennium (2000- 2005) was published by Fomma in 2008.