From beautifying the surroundings to helping to de-stress, art is essential for emotional and mental wellbeing. Art helps us feel free, refreshed, and exhilarated. Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. People appreciate art in different ways, whether it’s music, dance, poetry, drawings, paintings, or even graffiti. Some like to be directly involved in the creation of the art (artists) while others like to experience and appreciate it.
Recently, Karachiites got an opportunity to see and appreciate over 200 original works of art from emerging and mid-career contemporary Pakistani artists including Atif Khan, Mohsin Shafi, Sonia Chundrighar, Beygum Bano, Tooba Ashraf, and many others at the newly-launched Ambiance Boutique Art Hotel.
The grand opening showcased not only the stunningly designed property and its distinctively-curated art collection but also a unique immersive theatrical performance in which an entire block of the hotel was converted into a ‘walk-through’ theatre, allowing guests to interact with performing actors. Directed by theatre actor Vajdaan Shah, the living arts performance was an amalgamation of 18 different stories inspired by the artwork displayed at the Hotel, each of which was selected by the Curators’ Committee which includes eminent names such as Prof. Salima Hashmi, former Principal, National College of Arts; Prof. Shehnaz Ismail, founding member of Indus Valley School; Adeela Suleman, Director, Vasl Artists’ Association and Kasim Kasuri.
Guests were amused as they interacted with the performing actors who individually; in couples and groups told an interwoven tale which included themes of sibling separation, lost love, the trauma of war, regeneration and celebration replete with mad scientists; fembots, singing robots, guns, operating theatres and surgeons in scrubs and cake; all buoyed by intense action and stellar believable depictions. Audience members walked through several rooms to follow the trajectory of the performances in four time slots between 6.30pm and 10.30pm. Between the acts guests enjoyed delicious aperitifs including sushi, grilled chicken strips and chocolate brownies along with refreshing mint and beetroot juices at hotel’s restaurant which serves a carefully curated menu of global comfort food.
Speaking on the occasion, Kasim Kasuri, CEO and Chief Design Curator of the hotel, commented: “I am a serious art collector. We built this boutique hotel to redefine hospitality by offering curated experiences to its patrons. Art is centre-stage at the hotel, not just in terms of the paintings on our walls but in terms of our overall design aesthetic.”
The event, organised by Frieha Altaf and hosted by Kasim Kasuri, was attended by a number of celebrities and prominent personalities including Javed Jabbar, Khurshid Kasuri, Nisar Ahmed Khuro, Ishrat Husain, Sanam Saeed, Mohib Mirza, Ayesha Omer, Maria Wasti, Asim Raza, Saqib Malik, Fifi Haroon, HSY, Rukaiya Adamjee, Tapu Javeri among others.
–– You! desk