Making waves – Contemporary art in Pakistan by Salwat Ali

by Unicorn Gallery

About the book: MAKING WAVES – CONTEMPORARY ART IN PAKISTAN rooted in the practice of the present, Making waves, a compilation of published art reviews, attempts to identify and examine recent art trends and the forces defining their development. New media arts are established genres in the West but their artistic expression and public displays have escalated in Pakistan only in the last few years. Retooling their kits with fresh ideas, young minds are seeking new pastures. Their art is fueled by the technology revolution and mass media proliferation and they are locating their subjects and accessing materials from the wide spectrum of populist culture. Art making is evolving in an atmosphere of cultural turmoil, where tradition and modesty exist in (un) happy confusion. Volatile political conditions, religious constraints, socio-economic crisis, gender inequalities, ethnic strife, violence and state censorship are other significant determinants. This volume reviews these shifts and the changing look and feel of art. Diverse manifestations of this new sensibility are documented in the opening chapter, Mixed Media and Multi-Media. Pages devoted to the Contemporary Miniature chronicle the indigenous disciplines’ new adventures.

This radical redefinition of traditional art practices continues in the chapters on Sculpture, Drawing and Painting. Struggling genres and art related activities are gaining momentum and their journey is chartered in segments pertaining to Print Media, Video, Ceramics, Art Craft, Curators Wanted and Residency Programs. The status of graduate art is deliberated upon in Art Education. In many places where contemporary art institutions are in their infancy conceptually centered art, as against a tradition based aesthetic, is seeking new frontiers for its validation and text in Dialogues on Art examines these new realities through a transnational perspective. A new history is in the making and this volume concentrates on this progression by evaluating art and artists in the light of what they are exhibiting, who is responding to their art and why.
About the author: SALWAT ALI is a practising artist with a strong interest in the history and culture of Pakistan. She has been writing on art since 1990s. Her articles, reviews, essays and reports are published on weekly and monthly basis in Pakistan’s leading newspaper and periodicals. Salwat Ali regularly contributed articles to Dawn Gallery, Daily Dawn & Artline, and Newsline and is the author of Laila Shahzada-exploring an inner landscape, Journeys of spirit: Pakistan art in the new millennium.