NOT ONE PATRON OF ART IN PAKISTAN – HOW DOES ART AND ARTISTS STILL EXIST?

NOT ONE PATRON OF ART IN PAKISTAN
HOW DOES ART AND ARTISTS STILL EXIST?

M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI THE ONLY AND ONLY ART PATRON

J. Paul Getty
J. Paul Getty

Have you ever heard the concept of art patronage in Pakistan? Have you ever seen in  recent years the Government of Pakistan or the provincial governments buying Art in Pakistan and encouraging an impoverished artist community here. Once upon a time there was a financial award attached to the Pride of Performance award in Pakistan. Does business community supports the Arts? Shame shame and utter shame on our rich class, who have gotten riches by fair or unfair means but never developed the knack of doing anything good with their  money. Can we never have a Paul Getty, Arthur Sackler or Dr William K Ehrenfeld here in Pakistan? Probably not for many, many years.

Arthur Sackler
Arthur Sackler
Agha Khan
Agha Khan

But there is a future and we can only hope for it. Hope that one day the Sun will shine again on the class of people who need support to continue their existence. Obviously artists were never bothered about worldly matters and the Sultans and Queens cared for them. Today democracy has failed to evolve systems to encourage them. The real artists have declined in the country, only those are prospering who have sold their souls and dance on the tunes of foreign lobbies. Their favorite motto is to rewrite our history and curse our Ideology. For that they are willing to do anything. Anything means that what they create is time bound to evaporate into nothingness.

J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles CA   Aerial photography by Stefen Turner
J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles CA Aerial photography by Stefen Turner
Agha Khan Museum
Agha Khan Museum
Arthur Sackler Gallery
Arthur Sackler Gallery

Buying power is not related to Art patronage. In fact very ordinary people with zero purchasing power too opt for Art at their own levels. But it is the duty of the rich to foster Art growth in country. Paul Getty would have died an ordinary death and faded in history, but his making of the GETTY MUSEUM in Malibu California will keep his name alive literally till eternity. Same is the case with others.

CHUGHTAI MUSEUM
CHUGHTAI MUSEUM

This makes us come to the story of CHUGHTAI MUSEUM. A concept engendered by M.A. Rahman Chughtai to save his most precious Art works as well as Art works of other artists as well as one of the best libraries possible within his means, in form of a museum in Lahore. Instead of supporting him in his venture, the Federal a well as Punjab Government tried their best to stop him for he was not in the good books of foreign lobbies who did not want the Ideology of Pakistan strengthened through such means. The museum survive and we have worked for 40 years to put it on the map of the Art world. But that is another story.

MARC in Florence
MARC in Florence
DR WILLIAM K EHRENFELD
DR WILLIAM K EHRENFELD

2 thoughts on “NOT ONE PATRON OF ART IN PAKISTAN – HOW DOES ART AND ARTISTS STILL EXIST?”

  1. The world is proud of people who leave a residue of greatness in encouraging the preservation and promotion of Art

  2. A friend has sent this, please read:
    When something outrageous is repeated often enough it tends to become the truth in the eyes of the unsuspecting among us. This is precisely what has spread doom and gloom about Pakistan and her future among many of us.

    What is wrong is not the system but some of the people involved in it. These people do not descend from Mars but are our own brothers, fathers, friends and relatives. If they are corrupt, it is legitimate to ask, what we as responsible citizens have been doing about it in all these years? How many of us have denounced and cut off relations with such persons?

    It is hypocrisy plain and simple for us to condone at the same​ time​ expect​ someone else to eradicate corruption. It is not simply the politicians and the bureaucrats who have failed Pakistan; we all have by not playing our part as we should. Criticising and condemning others does not absolve us of this responsibility.

    Isolated instances of crime and misconduct here and there cannot be extrapolated to reflect on the country as whole. It is true that institutions are not functioning as well as they should —– and that includes the military but we need to put this in perspective.

    For instance, an impression has been created that Pakistan is a very violent place. In actual fact, even after taking into account the casualties caused by the terrorists, the rate of violent deaths per one hundred thousand people per year in Pakistan is less than that in the US.

    The rate of murders in Detroit, Michigan is seven times greater than in Lahore. The rate of violent deaths in Pakistan as a whole is only a fraction of what it is in almost the whole of Latin America and Africa; much less than in virtually all of East Europe and only one tenth of that in Russia ( http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/violence/by-country/ ).

    The incidents of rape in Pakistan are among the lowest in the world —- less than one thousand a year for a population of 180 million. France on the other hand, with one-third the population of Pakistan, averages more than 10,000 cases a year —- or thirty time greater.

    Given this, we need to seriously reconsider and reformulate our opinion about Pakistan being a violent country as a whole, as so many of us have become accustomed to doing.

    There is every indication now that the worst is behind her. The Economist which used to write so disparagingly about Pakistan, now suggests that it is a far better place to invest in than India. The IMF has shown similar confidence. Bloomberg, Standard and Poor, Moody have all raised their ratings. Renaissance Capital Ltd of London recently claimed, “Pakistan is the best, undiscovered investment opportunity in emerging or frontier markets.”

    There can be no better endorsement of faith in the country’s future than the commitment made by China to invest no less than $ 46 billion in Pakistan’s infrastructure. No one stakes so much in a country that is headed for failure.

    If rest of the world is showing confidence there is something very wrong when some of us continue to insist that it is all doom and gloom.

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