LAHORE - Artists Association of Punjab in collaboration with Pakistan National Council of Arts organised a seminar titled ‘Art and Contemporary Realities’ yesterday at Alhamra Arts Council.

The panelists were PNCA Director General Jamal Shah, AAP Chairman Mian Ijazul Hassan and AAP Secretary General Ghulam Mustafa.

Jamal Shah thanked AAP for their services to art promotion. He said: “Today art, its realisation, autonomy as well as reception are informed by various contexts. Today’s artist is interested in ideas of city and province, historic themes that have enthralled many writers and artists.”

“We have destroyed our culture by showing burned faces documentaries and disseminating negative image of Pakistan in foreign countries and getting Oscar award on behalf of it.”

He said that every year PNCA received Rs 1.5 million funds to promote the culture and artists of Pakistan which is not enough. 90 percent of the funds are provided to the employees and latest equipments. My request to the government is that we should be provided more funds so that we should bring change in the field of art. We are soon opening offices in Peshawar and Quetta.”

Art critic Quddus Mirza said that in our brief history of long dictatorships our artists, writers and other creative individuals have fought against oppressive regimes through their paintings, sculptures, drawing, poetry, songs, movies and dance performances.

“At various stages of our political past they rejected state narrative and produced literature of resistance, art of defiance of cinema of subversion and continued creating works, which not only revealed the reality of a brutal ruler, but supported and presented people struggling against state suppression.”

BNU Dean Visual Arts Rashid Rana said that he believe in one’s expression is a negotiation between the actual and the remote. The actual is close at hand something one can experience directly with the body as the site of knowing. The remote, on the other hand, is knowledge amassed directly, from sources scattered across time and space. Through this, we create novelty, expression and innovation in arts.

Copera Art Gallery owner Muhammad Javed said that an artist gets inspiration from his environment and records his feelings on the canvas in such a creative way that it catches the eye of the viewers most of the time.

The artist not only tries to capture the natural beauty, but also highlights various issues of the society. It is really unfortunate that the direction of art is being diverted from its actual functions; he said.