Monday, June 27, 2016

Op-Ed: Making Art From Pakistan’s Chaos

By Aatish Taseer
Detail of Imran Qureshi’s installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2013. Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
PAKISTAN---A drain, clogged with pink plastic bags and filled with black water, separates Bahar Colony, a Christian neighborhood, from the rest of this city. This is the landscape of Julius John Alam’s reality — and his imagination. Mr. Alam, the 26-year-old son of a tailor, is part of Pakistan’s Christian community, some two million in a country of more than 180 million. But he is also part of something bigger: He represents the tremendous artistic energy that has come to Pakistan, even as — and perhaps because — its traumas have multiplied. “The themes I deal with are influenced by my lived experiences as a Christian,” he told me. On the day of my visit, I ran into one of the National College of Art’s most famous alumni. Imran Qureshi’s paintings have been shown at the greatest museums of the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Barbican Art Gallery in London.[link]