ISLAMABAD-The German Ambassador Ina Lepel arranged a photo exhibition at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) Gallery at Islamabad.

The title of the exhibition was ‘Connecting the Dots – Photography, Culture, and Design’. The poster exhibition has been created by renowned photographers in collaboration with the Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus (German Cultural Centre Lahore), the Walled City Authority of Lahore (WCLA) and Lahore Art Council.

‘The Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus’ this year In February had invited the world-renowned, award-winning National Geographic photographer Matthieu Paley and his German wife, the graphic and communications designer Mareile Paley to hold two parallel workshops at the Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus for young photographers and graphic designers.

All the major art universities in Lahore participated and presented their results of workshops in the Alhamra Arts Council Gallery in February, 2017. Exhibition at Islamabad inspired the visitors and was attended by large number of artists, designer, writers, intellectuals, photographers, art lovers and other notables.

Ina Lepel was the chief guest on this occasion while Burghard Brinksmeier the cultural head of the German embassy was fully involved to make this exhibition a great success. European Union Ambassador Jean Francois Cautain also took a keen interest in the photo exhibition and it was obvious that he is a true art lover.

The recent world is moving towards globalization and regional culture, folk, heritage, tradition, civilization, values and eating habits are changing with a rapid speed. The young generation is highly impressed by the western culture which is not deep rooted. Lahore is well known for its traditional cuisines but the new generation is fond of fast food. The young generation is not interested in the classical and traditional music but they are more influenced by the western music. This art exhibition is a very good attempt to save all those great traditional and historical values of Lahore which has been a centre of culture, art and literature for many centuries. Ina Lepel and the German Embassy have done a great job in preserving those decaying cultural symbol of Lahore.

New and young photographers showcased their art work with unique style and techniques in the exhibition. Their work was very interesting and truly admired by the visitors. Talented artists and photographers displayed their brilliant pieces of art and showcased a positive image of Lahore through their photographs and posters. Ali Raza is a well-known photographer and was one of the participants in the workshop. This workshop has rendered him the opportunity to learn photo storytelling and helped to build a strong vision. In his photographs ‘The black Mirror’, ‘The white Mirror’, he illustrated his feelings and essence for shrine. Hareem Majeed’s overall experience in this unique workshop was great and she gained the knowledge to design tourism app for Lahore city Gate. Muhammad Zia also exhibited his work and one of his photograph ‘Kochwan’ (the carriage driver) depicted the culture of the Tonga which is disappearing due to modern transportation but some has kept this tradition alive.

He elegantly explained Amanat Ali, a 60-year-old man experience as a Tonga driver. Shahzad Mehmood photographs were the true reflection of street culture of Walled City of Lahore. Lahore which used to be the cultural hub of trade in the region since the time of Mughals and since then the city played a major role in economy of the region. He beautifully presented the daily hassle of the workers from near and small town in search of wage. Ali Hussain also learned many things from this workshop and learnt the art of storytelling. As an artist he manifested the diversity of the culture which had affected directly the women. Syed Umer Ahmed also learned the experience about project management in short time frame. Change in lens and printing helped Sadqain to gain the art of image change. Omer Mirza as a photographer got the idea of capturing great frames out of simple composition if snap at right time. Waqaz liaquat got a chance to portray a story through pictures and Samyukta Bhandari also gained the experience of the new medium of storytelling. Dr Annemarie-Schimmel was an influential scholar. She was a prolific writer and wrote many books which are very well-known throughout the world. She also translated the poetical works of The great poet Allama Iqbal. Pakistan was like her second home. And she had frequently visited Pakistan Since 1958 especially for delivering lectures on Iqbal. She wrote on Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, Rehman Baba, and other sufi poets of Pakistan and widely known as an authority on Sufism.

The Annemarie-Schimmel-Haus is a partner of the Goethe-Institute Pakistan. It has promoted the bilateral dialogue between Pakistan and Germany through cultural events which they organized on regular basis in the fields of theatre, music, fine arts and film. Ina Lepel also made speech, on this occasion, in which she thanked everyone and especially the young photographers for their impressive works .She said that these workshops created the opportunity to learn from the immense skill and experience of the French photographer Matthieu Paley and Mareile Paley. She also thanked the planner and organizer of the workshops, Naurin Zaki and her team. A series of posters and photographs taken in the Walled City were the result of ten-day-workshop she further said that these poster and photographs reflected and highlighted the heritage sights in the old city of Lahore and the human and their social life.

She further added that she has attended the exhibition at the gallery of Alhamra Arts Council was very much amazed at the diversity of themes that emerged.

Some works focused on the outer shapes of heritage landmarks, some showcased dying arts and crafts, some shed light on the social transformations that took place in the Walled City of Lahore. She said that it is a matter of great pleasure to welcome this unique exhibition and fruits of their work in Islamabad. This is a great opportunity to showcase emerging young talents of Pakistan’s arts and design scene in the capital.