LAHORE – A solo paintings exhibition of Erum Ashfaq titled “The Revival of Cultural Heritage” kicked off at the Shakir Ali Museum of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts  here on Thursday. Well-known social and cultural figure Mian Yousuf Salahuddin was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony the exhibition which is scheduled to continue for more than two weeks till January 15 evening. PNCA Director General Tauqeer Nasir was also present on the occasion.

Taking a round along with the artist and other guests, Mian Yousuf Salahuddin highly appreciated the art work of Erum Ashfaq and said this was a good and successful attempt on the part of the artist to project historical heritage in colours on the canvases. On display in the exhibition are more than two dozen paintings depicting old historical buildings of Moghul era of Lahore and Bhera including Shalimar Garden, Masjid Wazir Khan, Haveli Chuna Mandi, Lahore Fort, jharoka of an abandoned building of Bhera among others.

This is Erum Ashfaq’s second solo show in about one year. She has also participated in some group shows held at different art galleries of the provincial metropolis. Erum Ashfaq, who hails from a family which has rich academic and artistic background, is a naturally gifted artist who has got no formal art education from anywhere but still her creative work attracts the attention of the viewers within no time and keep them spellbound for sometime.

Erum Ashfaq’s interest in architectural heritage of the land has resulted in exploration of an area that has so far been largely ignored by most of the artists. She is putting up an exhibition which aims at the promotion of historical monuments and architectural legacy mostly of the Mughul rulers who had erected such marvelous structures which would keep on inspiring the generations to come.

Erum Ashfaq has done Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore and also Masters in Economics from the Punjab University .She is presently working in Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company, a project of the Punjab Government funded by the World Bank.

Erum Ashfaq said, “My interest area has always been the historical architectural legacy that we have today. As a continuation to my journey of passion towards painting, this time I have extended my canvas to highlight the most promising city of Bhera that was lost in obscurity. Bhera has a history which dates back to thousands of years, evolved through centuries, had a rich heritage that is known to very few.”

She further said “The Walled City of Lahore that was built and rebuilt during the Moghul era, has its magnificent remnants that captured the artists vision to brought into knowledge of this elegant city of its times. I have reflected the intricate masonry and wooden works within the buildings, jharokas and streets. My aim is to restore on canvas the magnificence of such an enduring asset.”