rawalpindi - A unique exhibition of Gandhara Art by renowned stone carving artists Shafiq Ahmed and Tariq Butt to highlight various aspects of Buddhist civilisation of Gandhara has been showcased under the auspices of Rawalpindi Arts Council here on yesterday.

E.A.S. Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, Acting High Commissioner, Embassy of Sri Lanka graced the occasion as chief guest of the inaugural ceremony flanked by Naheed Manzoor, Resident Director RAC Waqar Ahmed and other senior artists. The exhibition included replicas of Buddha’s statues and the art was known for making Buddha’s sculptures and stupas and inscribing the historical development of Gandhara civilisation on stone.

Shafiq Ahmed along with Tariq Butt has been working to promote Gandhara civilisation for more than 35 years as has held more than 15 exhibitions which acclaimed admiration across the country.  Gandhara art basically depicts the life of Buddha in a visual manner, probably by incorporating the real-life models and concepts available to the artists.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, E.A.S. Wijayanthi Edirisinghe, Sri Lankan Acting High Commissioner said that it was a great opportunity for her to see Gandhara Art Exhibition. She said Gandhara was an old civilisation and it is real sense of Pakistan. She added Pakistan has very rich culture and history.  Wijayanthi Edirisinghe said Pakistan and Sri Lanka has inter-cultural harmony and opportunities would be provided to the artists of Pakistan to display their work. Naheed Manzoor said Shafiq Ahmed and Tariq Butt are custodians of Gandhara.

Resident Director RAC Waqar Ahmed said that the artists’ work showed their maturity and grip over this form of art. He said that the RAC would make all-out efforts to promote Gandhara civilisation and art of Potohar region by providing a vibrant platform to the artists.