January seems like the perfect time to celebrate innovation and forward thinking in the arts, so we thought it fitting that our first issue of the new year should be ‘new voices’. Looking at the fresh crop of graduates from our top art programs, we see the first experiments of artists beginning to develop their own distinct voices. These young artists are indelibly shaped by the teachers and schools; each batch seems to carry the impress of the particular style and methodologies of its school. But within these frameworks, the students manage to make space for themselves and develop their own idiosyncratic forms and concerns. We hope these young talents will continue with their art and wish them all the best in their artistic careers.
ArtNow recently had the privilege of being part of “Shakaar”, an intriguing and thought-provoking artistic and curatorial endeavour by the artist Sumaya Durrani in collaboration with curator and art critic Amra Ali. Unlike any other artistic project seen in Karachi, this one took place in stages, with different artworks placed at various art galleries around the city. Using the concept of the journey, both spiritual and physical, the exhibition pushed the viewer to interpret the work on her own, rather than rely on the curator or artist for a preconceived understanding of the work.
In this vein of novelty and innovation, we have a number of exciting ventures planned for 2014. Two projects planned for early 2014 are ones we hope will translate into annual undertakings. One of these initiatives focuses on the local art world and hopes to make it more accessible to a general audience, widening the scope of art appreciation in Pakistan. With our second major project, we are trying to forge closer connections between the South Asian diaspora and our local art world. Pakistanis are well-travelled, culturally sophisticated demographic. Please watch this space and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on these and other events we have planned for this year.
As we look forward to the realm of possibilities, we would like to pause and extend our gratitude towards our contributors, without whom this magazine would not be possible; to our advisors and representatives, whose advice we rely on; and to the artists whose who have opened their studios and portfolios, and for whose generosity and time we could not be more grateful.
To our old readers: thank you for staying with us over the past year as we settled into our new website and new format; to our new readers: we’re very glad you have joined us in discovering the world of Pakistani contemporary art. We hope you found the revamp of the magazine useful and informative, and as we continue to add new features and sections, making the website more interactive and responsive, we urge you to send your comments, suggestions, and criticism. Our goal is to provide our readers with the most dynamic and insightful experience possible, which we can’t do without your input.
Wishing you all the best in 2014 – bye for NOW.