An exhibition of work by young artists from across Pakistan opened at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore. These art pieces had qualified in a competition titled “We the Peoples, We the Arts”, which aims to promote Sustainable Development Goals and provide Pakistani students with a unique opportunity to gain international visibility.
Students of five art schools were invited to develop sculptures, miniature paintings and paintings on “Zero Hunger”, the second of 17 Sustainable Development Goal, for this competition. A total of 64 art pieces were received, out of which 23 made it to the final exhibition, which was first inaugurated at the residence of Swiss Ambassador in Islamabad and was later opened to public in Islamabad, Peshawar and Karachi.
A jury comprising Swiss and international art experts, the Embassy of Switzerland and the United Nations selected a winner for each category. Gina Gul (Karachi University) won the award for the miniature painting. Tooba Ashraf (NCA Lahore) was declared winner in the ‘painting’ category while Haseebullah Zafar (NCA Lahore) claimed award for crafting the winning sculpture.
“Hunger to me is synonymous with waste,” said Zafar, creator of the winning sculpture. Seeing wasted scraps of decaying meat in front of butcher shops affected him deeply because not even the animals could consume them. “I wanted to build something solid to convey the magnitude of waste. So I built a four feet tall figurative pillar of flesh,” he said.
Tooba Ashraf, winner in the category of ‘painting’ said, “Through this platform I was able to use my art to convey my thoughts and emotions to the viewers. I strongly support this initiative and hope to see more of such competitions in the future.”
Speaking on the occasion, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC’s) Director in Pakistan Stefanie Burri said she hoped that the young artists will make use of the opportunity, recognition and financial support this competition provided.
“We the Peoples, We the Arts” is an initiative of the SDC, the Embassy of Switzerland in partnership with the UN Information Centre (UNIC) to mark the 50th year of SDC’s cooperation with Pakistan.
See photo story of the exhibition here.