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Living Traditions

Contemporary Art from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, on view at the National Art Gallery, Islamabad.
Feb 2009

Devised and organised by Turquoise Mountain, the exhibition brings together contemporary artists from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, presenting over 50 artworks that draw on the rich cultural heritage of these three countries.

The participating artists are all inspired by the same shared cultural heritage. But how do artists of today respond to these traditions? Are cultural traditions a burden or a source of inspiration? What do they mean in a modern world of computers, mobile phones, and missiles?

The exhibition, on view at the National Art Gallery, Islamabad from 8 February to 22 March 2009, presents a wide variety of media, including painting, calligraphy, printmaking, sculpture, photography and video animation. There are new responses to calligraphy by Afghan artists Sohaila Khalili and Ali Baba Aurang, contemporary miniature painting by Pakistani artists trained at the National College of Arts in Lahore such as Imran Qureshi, Aisha Khalid and Nusra Latif Qureshi, inventive graphic design by Iranian artists from 5th Colour, as well as new works by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and YZ Kami inspired by the beautiful Islamic geometric patterns found in textiles, tile-work and architecture across the Islamic world.

Living Traditions was first shown at the Queen’s Palace in Kabul from 10 October - 20 November 2008. This event creates a new platform for cultural dialogue and exchange between Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan that goes beyond political tensions in the region.

Participating artists:
Khadim Ali (Afghanistan / Pakistan)
Ali Baba Aurang (Afghanistan)
5th Colour (Iran)
Shezad Dawood (Pakistan / UK)
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (Iran)
Khosrow Hassanzadeh (Iran)
Bahman Jalali (Iran)
YZ Kami (Iran / US)
Aisha Khalid (Pakistan)
Sohaila Khalili (Afghanistan)
Jila Peacock (Iran / UK)
Mohammad Imran Qureshi (Pakistan)
Nusra Latif Qureshi (Pakistan / Australia)
Zolaykha Sherzad (Afghanistan)

(From press information provided by Turquoise Mountain)

Living Traditions
Contemporary Art from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan

8 Feb. - 22 March 2009

National Art Gallery
Pakistan National Council for the Arts
5F-5/1 Islamabad

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