UoP Department of Art & Design holds exhibition
Peshawar Visitors evinced a keen interest in the artworks displayed at an exhibition arranged by the Department of Art & Design (formerly Fine Arts), University of Peshawar (UoP), here Monday.

The two-day exhibition themed ‘Culture of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ opened at the newly constructed Pashto Culture Museum at the Pashto Academy wherein different pieces of artwork like photography, paintings, textile designing, pottery and screen designing prepared by students and teachers of the Art and Design Department were put on display.

UoP Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Azmat Hayat Khan formally inaugurated event, which started at 9 a.m. and lasted till 5 p.m. In his inaugural address, Dr Azmat Hayat lauded the exhibition and said it was a matter of pride for the university to have a museum that was the first of its kind in the country.

“This museum also aspires to provide the visitors a platform to understand our culture and way of life,” the vice-chancellor said, urging the literati, poets and intellectuals of Pashto language to contribute their ideas for the betterment of the museum.

Art and Design Department Chairman Tayyaba Aziz said: “The museum is aimed at preserving the local culture and heritage so that people from abroad as well as local people and students can understand the way of life of the people of this region. We are on our way to gather the best material for the museum. For the purpose a special committee has been formed.”

Tayyaba said the event was meant not only to entertain but also to make the people aware of their rich culture. She said the exhibition would be open for the public for five days.

The visitors including students from various departments of the university turned up at the show in a large number.

“The art and paintings hanging on the walls reflect the rich culture and history of the province and its inhabitants. It is also the best example of the talent of our young generation,” commented Abaseen Yousafzai, chairman of the Pashto Department of the Islamia College University.

A cultural activist and teacher of the Khyber Medical College, Dr Salahuddin said the artworks showed that the future of art and culture was very bright in this region. “We should be proud of our young talent. Some years back there was no concept of textile designing in this part of the world but today our students have prepared unique pieces of textile designing and the pottery pieces placed at the exhibition are also praiseworthy,” he said.

Dr Salahuddin said such exhibitions should continue and also be held in other parts of the province for the art lovers as some of the artworks reflected the situation the region was passing through nowadays.

Pir Hamid, a former student of the department whose two paintings – a man with a hubble-bubble and lantern hanging over the wall of a mud house – were on display, said such exhibitions reminded the old traditional tools which were almost vanishing. How the new generation would know about the old cultural items and traditions that are on the decline if the photographs and paintings are not available, he posed a question. He said painting was the best way of expression and preservation of traditional ways and means of life.

Saira, a 4th year student of the department, was quite optimistic about the future of textile designing and said it was for the first time that such an exhibition was held in the province. “It will not only encourage students but also the art lovers and general public to take interest in art and culture and work for its promotion,” she said, adding that her artworks like jewellery designs on table sheets, curtains and bed sets were much praised by the visitors.

Saira said she took pictures of jewellery designs from Sarafa Bazaar for her work and raw material from Rawalpindi.

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