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March 14, 2019

KU VC warns against ‘ignoring youngsters again’


March 14, 2019

The vice chancellor, University of Karachi, Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, along with renowned singer, social worker and humanitarian Shehzad Roy, inaugurated the KU Art Baithak at the Staff Club of the varsity on Wednesday.

The Arts and Culture Society, which performs under the Students’ Adviser Office, has organised different creative activities for the students in collaboration with The School of Writing.

The first session of Art Baithak was attended by the deans, chairmen and faculty members besides hundreds of students. On this occasion, VC Prof Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan said that extra-curriculum activities were also very essential to bring out creative ideas and students, besides their studies, should take part in such activities to enhance their skills.

“The idea behind staging such events is that we want to introduce the culture of tolerance, a habit of taking interest in our own literature and culture as Karachi University is not only about academic activities, the university gives platform to students to find their talents and use them as per their choice.”

Prof Khan observed that students could discover their hidden talents by participating in such creative activities. He said that youngsters must have the opportunity to express their feelings and society must listen to them as well.

“In the past, youngsters and creative-minded people did not have many platforms to express themselves and, on the other hand, intolerance was on the rise in the country and we had paid a huge price for ignoring youngsters. This mistake should not be repeated again.”

A noted scholarly personality, Professor Dr Faiyaz Vaid, mentioned that he did not witness any event like this in his 31 years of experience related to Karachi University. The dean, Arts and Social Sciences, KU, Professor Dr Nasreen Aslam Shah, said that social sciences played a very important role in the progress and development of any country.

The founder of Zindagi Trust, Shehzad Roy, appreciated the efforts of The School of Writing and the KU’s Arts and Culture Society, and the Students’ Adviser Office for establishing the Art Baithak.

The KU students’ adviser, Dr Syed Asim Ali, mentioned that art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author’s imaginative, conceptual ideas, or technical skills intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.

He introduced that the Arts and Culture Society had invited Six Eyes Collective for mural painting session. The Six Eyes Collective is an organisation that promotes the arts in Pakistan and run by artists Safwan Subzwari and Marium Kamal. Together, they paint murals on the streets of Karachi as well as hold art and music therapy sessions for the public.

Hina Aijaz held calligraphy session.

Hina Aijaz works with intricate patterns and colours, depicts the beauty of life in her work creating engaging artworks by paying great attention to detail. She works on the philosophy of life and its impact on human nature, exploring different media and techniques in her own style.

Being an art enthusiast since her childhood and for her love towards art, she has done her BFA (Islamic Arts) from the University of Karachi, Department of Visual Studies in 2017. Having a quiet and contemplative nature, she gives voice to her thoughts through her art that cannot be expressed in words. Her skills include painting, calligraphy, geometry, naqqashi and a lot more.

A renowned visual effects artist, Muqeem Khan, was guest at the Artist Talk session. In 1996, Muqeem Khan became the first Pakistani to start working in the Hollywood visual effects (VFX) industry. His motion picture credits with Walt Disney and Square USA include Deep Rising, George of the Jungle, Flubber, Armageddon, and Final Fantasy.

He is also the VFX adviser for the upcoming Pakistani motion picture production, Sher Dil, which will be released on March 22. His research interests are in the areas of an user-centered design approach, emerging interactive technologies, and intangible cultural heritage.

Through an empathic design framework and augmented reality, he is currently investigating, documenting and transmitting the ancient pulse-reading practices/Unani pulse diagnosis in South Asia.

He has taught at Virginia, Commonwealth and Northwestern universities in Qatar and is currently an associate professor and interim director of communication and design program at Habib University in Pakistan.

Another famous visual artist, Summaiya Jillani, also joined the Art Baithak. Summaiya Jillani established her career both as a painter and an art instructor at different institutes and independently held art studios.

She has been part of the faculty of the Communication and Textile Design Department of Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture since 2011. In 2012, she set a new benchmark for her audience with her Desi Marilyn Monroe, which became an instant hit South Asian art scene. She has exhibited in Karachi, Lahore, New Dehli, UAE, Philadelphia, New York and London. At the Art Baithak, Summaiya will be setting up a stall for screen printing for participants.

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