Essays

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Essays

The Pakistan Pavilion – Architecture and Space as Locus of Dream, Desire and Longing

On October 1st 2021 the much awaited Expo 2020, hosted by Dubai opened its doors to visitors with great fanfare and a spectacular opening ceremony. The aim of the Expo was to promote “an exhibition of culture, technology and architecture…

Tracing Contemporary Photography in Pakistan through the Lens of Arif Mahmood and Nade Ali

Pakistan has seen a growth in the ever-evolving state of photography, especially after the ‘Digital Boom’ that exploded in the country, in the beginning of the twenty-first century. Along with this expanse came a great influx in the variety of…

Karachi-the Concrete and the Humane

This comprehensive two-part essay has been authored by Dr Suneela Ahmed and Laraib Asdaf respectively. While Ahmed’s writing engages with the swift transformations of the city’s public architecture, with a design language evolving from global influences and local aspirations along…

The ‘Other’ Culture: The Asian Pavilion at The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

An Asian Art department was created at the Rijksmuseum1 in 1952, when the Royal Asian Art Society donated their collection to the Museum.2 Today, a number of objects from the Asian Art department are still on display in the main…

Cultures of Consumption – Contemporary Perspectives of Art and Consumerism

In lieu of the growing and expansive culture of product (and profit)-making, it can be argued that the postmodern experience of consumerism for the average individual is increasingly becoming a manufactured necessity. Consumers are inevitably confronted with mass-produced goods that…

The Growth and Tumble of the Pakistani Cinema

The Indian subcontinent in 1947 was divided into two countries and three parts: India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. My essay aims to look into the development of the film industries of the subcontinent, with a focus on Pakistan. Moreover,…

Spatial Memories: Narratives of Cultural History in Afrasian Hybridity

The growth of inter-cultural encounters in the Africa-Asia region of the world have instigated the creation of socially, politically, and ethnographically diverse spaces. The waters of the Indian Ocean, carrying remnants of the coast of Africa and the Middle East…

The Risky Business of Art Authentication

In the recent past, there has been an influx of counterfeit art of Pakistani modern masters; M.A. Chughtai (1894-1975), Ustad Allah Bux (1895-1978), Sadequain (1930-1987), Ahmed Parvez (1926-1979), Ismail Gulgee (1926-2007), Bashir Mirza (1941-2000) and Eqbal Mehdi (1946-2008), just to…

9/11 and the Politics of “Othering” in Text-Based Art

In 1990 Arjun Appadurai wrote a seminal article called “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy”; expanding upon the ramifications of a global village within a cultural context, Appadurai introduced readers to the dynamic diasporic strands of globalization that…

Icons from Traditional Indian Miniatures in Contemporary Art

Manuscript making and illumination in the Indian Mughal courts has been a well-recognized high-art form in South Asia between the fifteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Emperors, such as Akbar (b.1542-1605) and Shah Jahan (b.1592-1666), frequently posed on terraces of their…

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