"PAKART" Exhibition Showcasing Pakistani Artists Concludes In The Hague

“PAKART,” an exhibition displaying the work of Pakistani visual artists in The Hague, Netherlands, concluded on January 8, 2023. The exhibition was organized by the Pakistan Embassy in Netherlands.

PAKART brought the work of 12 renowned Pakistani contemporary artists belonging to three generations, showing the depth and breadth of visual art work being made in Pakistan. Works displayed at the exhibition included traditional miniature painting, landscape painting, printmaking, sculptures, and video installations.

The artists in the exhibition are some of Pakistan’s leading and internationally renowned artists and include Atif Khan, Bashir Ahmed, Fawad Jafri, Imran Channa, Imran Qureshi, Iram Wani, Jamil Baloch, Naheed Fakhar, Nazir Ahmed, Noor Chagani, R. M. Naeem, and Yaseen Khan.

According to Ambassador Suljuk Mustansar Tarar, the exhibition had been curated to give a reflection of the current status of contemporary art in Pakistan, ranging from painting to printmaking to video installations.

The Ambassador remarked how contemporary miniature painting from Pakistan has become a global art movement. He also mentioned the cultural links between Pakistan and the Netherlands, and that Pakistani visual artists have been inspired by the Dutch masters during their education or careers.

Ambassador Suljuk Mustansar Tarar is also an art critic and art historian, and the author of a book on Pakistani contemporary art and architecture All That Art. He has also been writing for The Friday Times since 2014.

The Dutch Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation, Ambassador Dewi van de Weerd appreciated the hosting of the exhibition and remarked that the Pakistan Embassy is leveraging cultural diplomacy to further strengthen the relations between the two countries.

A large number of people visited the exhibition including The Hague based Ambassadors, Dutch officials and the general public. Member of the Dutch Parliament Mariëlle Paul visited the exhibition and tweeted about the exhibition, and how it told stories of social change and empowerment through the medium of contemporary art.

The Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan Henny de Vries who was visiting the Netherlands over the holidays also visited the exhibition, with other officials from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They all were impressed by the range of art being created in Pakistan.

The venue of the exhibition is across the street to the Mauritshuis Museum, The Hague. Mauritshuis is a two centuries old museum, and houses some of the best works of Dutch masters like Vermeer's Girl with the Pearl Earring and View of Delft, Rembrandt's last self-portrait, Homer, and The Anatomy Lesson, and Peter Paul Rubens' Old Woman and Boy with Candles, among many others.

There have been cultural links between Pakistan and the Netherlands - Rembrandt himself was inspired by traditional Mughal miniature. Pakistan's leading painter Saeed Akhtar recognizes Rembrandt as one of his inspirations.

In recent years, a number of Pakistani artists have undertaken art residencies offered in the Netherlands. Aisha Khalid, one of Pakistan's leading contemporary miniature practitioners has completed her residency from the Rijksakademie.

Pakistan and the Netherlands will mark 75 years of their diplomatic relations in 2023. PAKART is a Public and Cultural Diplomacy initiative of the Pakistan Embassy in the Netherlands to bring Pakistan art, culture and heritage to the people of the Netherlands.