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Stepping into the Canvas with Samia & Yasir

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We got in touch with this beautiful artist Samia Yasir and talked about her paintings, passion and years of mastery. The conversation was definitely a great analysis of her years of experience and overview of art.

  1. Can you describe what or who influenced you to become an artist? 

    My journey of art started from my home because I was born to the family where art was cherished already and still enjoyed, practiced and encouraged with passion. Fortunately, nobody forced me to become a doctor or engineer. My first and greatest influence were my parents. They both are versatile. My mother practiced homeopathy for years but she is a landscape artist as well. She continued two almost opposite practices together, later, she quit homeopathy and completely focused on painting until now, she is busy creating masterpieces. She is from the family of famous painter of Pakistan, Ustaad Allah Bakhsh. My father, who basically is a businessman, but art remained his hobby ever since he was a young boy. His field of study was Law and Political Science but he created beautifully masterly sketches in pencil and pen and ink. The beautiful idea behind creating any artwork is that my father does the sketching and my mother paints it. Every single piece of art is a result of their collective effort. All those years of my childhood and adolescence, I got a lot of inspiration and motivation. My Grandfather used to write beautiful scripts of Calligraphy, in fonts like Naskh and Nastaleeq. Therefore I absorbed immense talent and versatility. 

  2. How did the journey of art get started in your life? 

    My passion for art sparked off at the age of 6 years when I was in school. Observing my parents while drawing and painting, I tried creating little wonders on plain drawing copy. Later, with time, especially during my adolescence, I started painting on dried leaves, wasted wooden sheets, antique furniture, eggshells, bamboos, etc. It was the time my father suggested that I should become an artist and choose this subject for specialization. I gladly accepted this offer. My early career actually began when I was in intermediate, my first achievement was the gold medal in B.A fine arts. During my MFA, I already started to earn. My miniatures mostly were achieved by high officials like General Pervaiz Musharraf, Ex-Governor Khalid Maqbool while he was governor of Lahore, Ex-PM Shaukat Aziz while he was PM of Pakistan and I really felt honored.

  3. What is your perception about painting and which medium and subject do you enjoy painting the most?
    Every artist is recognized by a specific style. He/She has as a theme of his/her painting. But in my case, I enjoy painting almost all styles and subjects of art. I cannot stick to one style or subject like abstract, realism, cubism, impressionism, symbolism, etc. or watercolor, oil colors, gouache technique, acrylics, etc. It depends on what I feel like painting. I love painting still life, figures, landscapes, calligraphy with Qalam, Calligraphic Art, miniatures, floral art, abstracts without any shapes or forms only, the play of colors, Murals, fresco techniques, and ceramics. There is a long list of artists who are my inspiration, practicing or practiced their individual style. My teachers played a vital role to encourage my style and thoughts that I can never forget. My art was polished by their sincere efforts.

  4. Can you describe two or three important projects that you have completed? 

    I like to paint cultural and traditional art the most, especially from Cholistani Culture. One of my paintings with female figures is an example of it; girls wearing Cholistani dresses holding pitchers on the foreground is gharwanj which is a pitcher stand. The background is filled with specific motifs. The use of color palette is in accordance with the typical colors from respective cultures all done in oil colors, earthy tones. Another example is a floral painting. This subject really freshens up my mood as the use of red and maroons gives it a romantic look. One of my painting is named yellow leaves. It is a landscape showing trees with yellow leaves. I have used gold leaf paper on the leaves to show the sunlight reflection. I have painted it in acrylics with gold leaf paper. Apart from these, the gouache technique for miniatures is also my favorite medium. I have painted miniatures on Vasili portraying Mughal culture and for the patronage of Mughal Art as well. One of the examples is Mughal court scene. Few paintings are done in a realistic style and I have chosen Badshahi Masjid as a subject. In my view, the process of getting inspired and motivated always stays with an artist from beginning to end, because there isn’t one thing that can appeal to you. There are so many factors, features or things around you that can push you to paint. Sometimes, it’s intuitive. The process of learning goes on. 

  5. What is the role of art in our society? how it can positively influence us?

    Life is a path where you decide your own destiny. It requires struggle. Every successful person has a story. My story isn’t smooth either but Allah always blesses you if you are honest and sincere. Before marriage and until now to remain consistent with my field, my parents’ back remains with me (Alhamdulilah). One of the unfortunate factors is that women of Pakistan are mostly directed towards one ultimate goal which is marriage and raising kids. I am not discouraging to get married or having kids. But, I feel disappointed for most of the women’s population who are extremely talented and highly educated but they are unable to show their talent and remain covered for the whole life after getting married. It is compulsory to be a good wife and mother because we are responsible for raising a sensible generation, it is a task given to us by Allah that must be fulfilled sincerely, but there has to be an opportunity to continue their professional field or advance studies. 

  6. Tell us about the trajectory of your career up to this point? 

    Now, I am going to mention the best part of my journey, a twist in my life, the utmost part of my success and the strongest person behind my success is my husband (Alhamdulilah and Masha Allah). Born to a family of artists and got married to the family of artists, that is the reason why I am still managing to practice visual. He has a deep aesthetic sense for arts that he has inherited from his father. He is an awesome art critic which helps me a lot in rectifying weak areas of paintings. My father-in-law graduated from NCA during the time when it was called Mayo School of Arts in the apprenticeship of Ustad Allah Buksh. He admires and encourages me a lot. I would like to add up an interesting incident here. While doing my marriage preparations, I had a deal with the designer who was preparing my wedding dress that I am going to paint her a painting of her choice and she’ll prepare my Barat dress at the same cost. So basically we exchanged our required products at the same cost. An element of struggle added as well, because, with the time, Allah was blessing me with the kids as well. I have four kids Alhamdulilah, therefore, I had four C-sections, my kids are beautiful addition Into my life and I believe that having more kids cannot make you poor I have seen isolated single person sleeping on footpaths, homeless and unemployed. I was once mocked by a person that woman is not strong enough to continue their professional fields after marriage and kids, somehow it is also true as bigger amount of money is spent on their education but after marriage willingly or unwillingly they quit progressing. Anyway, I replied to that mockery with “you’ll see I am going to bring a change.” During my third maternity condition, I was doing a job as an art teacher at a private school. I got weak. But it was the only way to continue my children’s school but sadly I was called in the office that we need a hundred percent performance and you are not fit enough to do that so go home and take rest. I was devastated of course because my husband was covering kitchen and bills expenses and I was doing my children’s education expense. It was an edge to edge without any extra income or condition of saving money. Faculty was calling it sympathy, it wasn’t. I got fired politely. I was not given any leave to take rest. This is what happens in our society when you try to progress or move forward. After a couple of months, my husband and I managed to grab a big project on order with huge canvases. I remember, all of a sudden, I had Complication. I had C-section 15 days earlier than estimated date of delivery. I was so upset about my project. It was about commitment. All my planning went down to the drains again. I wasn’t given a break to take rest so I had to complete everything with the bandage on, stitches, severe pain and nursing a baby with two toddlers. My husband used to help me with the areas where I could not bend or reach upwards. 

  7.  What do you think you contributed to the culture of Arts? 

    I faced a tough time with the attitude of people towards art and the ability to understand what is the value of any piece of art that is not created in ordinary circumstances or with a normal set up. It is something beyond the barriers in its own way, it is intuitive and is created with emotions and intense feelings. I’ll literally call it the dark ages of art because people are not aesthetically aware of what actually a masterpiece is. We have rare institutions that are serving the right purpose of educating different fields of art. There is a need of deciding the correct talent on merit. You cannot become an artist by holding a pencil or paintbrush in your hands. Artists are born with the talent to some extent it can be learned but it blooms on its peak when comes out of a person with inborn abilities. There is a need for promoting original and fresh talent. There is a strict need of letting transgender people have a chance to get educated and get jobs like all of us. They are part of our society as we are part of it. There has to be an open opportunity for them to learn art. Because they are loud, full of life. They are bright and they have two spirits, they are masculine as well as feminine, therefore, it makes them more talented and versatile. If they can dance and sing then why can’t they paint. I have a dream to run an institution where I’ll certainly give them a chance on merit to get enrolled and study whatever they wish to learn.

  8. Do you want to give any message? 

    I have an appeal to Prime Minister as well that negative sort of defaming and discouragement should be cut down. There must be equal rights for transgender people as well. No leader is going to change our lives and motivate us, we are our own leaders and we should start from our homes and within ourselves. I never blame leaders for corruption, it’s the nation who has to be educated enough to bring a sincere leader. As parents and elders, we are responsible for raising a generation that can change the fate of our country rather than spoiling them by giving them an opportunity to waste their precious youth on spending time and money on gadgets and unhealthy lifestyles. Lastly, I would request you to promote my art page and artwork and to spread the word, that is going to help the struggling artist to reach the destination, in all these circumstances to make the advance studies possible as it is my dream to achieve PhD degree in the same project. 

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Hussain Rehar’s New Collection: An Amalgamation of Tradition and the Contemporary

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Dipped in sophistication and grandeur, Hussain Rehar has tried to recapture the essence of Eighteenth-century with his new clothing line; “Nizam Begum” showcasing the out-of-the-world aesthetics and design philosophy, that takes you on a ride back in time to that same era; with royalty oozing out of each ensemble. The whole collection is a testament to the finest craftsmanship, careful designing and hard work that’s reflected in the exceptional attention to the details. Apart from the astounding intricacy, Hussain Rehar has used the finest fabric available, to provide an amalgamation of both royalty and comfort in his outfits.

History: The Nizam Begums were the wives of the Nizams; rulers of the princely Hyderabad state. Nizam begums; queens of the Nizam dynasty, led extraordinarily lavish, posh and royal lifestyle, which was reflected in their unique, timeless attires, adorned with intricate embellishments and designs, openly expressing their royal stature, style and taste in dressing.

 

The ‘Nizam wives’ can be seen here, photographed in Hussain Rehar’s new Eid collection, reminiscent of that same glorious era, where he has tried to recreate the same great style and timeless fashion, by introducing and infusing a contemporary touch and creating a masterpiece that’s both sophisticated and outstanding; a stellar addition to one’s wardrobe, a piece of clothing that’s a must-have, timeless and making the one wearing it stand out as if draped in finesse.

What’s more interesting, is the fact that this intriguing piece of clothing, although affordable, is a limited edition range. Hussain Rehar has attained his inspiration from the Nizam Begum, so the collection is named after them, as a tribute to their timeless, sophisticated style and breathtaking dressing sense. The elegant pieces create a balance between the traditional and contemporary, and the final result is an outfit that is too tempting to resist.

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Catwalk Cares Season 2 Recorded Amid Strict SOPS

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Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2 was recorded amid the setting, perfectly similar to any other fashion week outside of the Covid-19 pandemic except there was no engaging audience present and instead the side rows were eerily filled with empty wooden benches. The show was recorded at a grand and modern set comprising a sizable runway for ramp and desired lighting at Net Set Studio Karachi.

The show that was successfully recorded in the first week of August, for later virtual transmission, will be aired on ARY Zindagi TV worldwide into three-day format and on ARY Digital for its YouTube transmission under the aegis of ARY as the Official Media Partner on this Independence Day.

Frieha Altaf, CEO of Catwalk Event Management & Productions on the occasion thanked and gave credit to his friend Asad-ul-Haq (ace advertising filmmaker) for suggesting to present Catwalk Cares Season 2 on a ramp.

“Those who were in attendance though were a selected number of Media, came to the recordings at different time slots in order to follow the strict SOPs. Likewise, designers and brands along with their models were also assigned separate intervals so as to avoid crowding,” explained Frieha.

She added that participants were instructed to wear masks, keep a social distance and using hand sanitizers when off camera and continuously urged to remain safe.

At the show, singer Ali Tariq of ‘Bekha Na’ from ‘Parey Hut Love’ did the world premiere of new song “Chaho Na” while popular Folk- Rock singer Natasha Baig performed the song ‘Kaseria’ for one of the participating brands Kayseria.

SABS Salon is the official Makeup and Hairstylist of Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2 while Samiya Ansari of SABS, a trained wardrobe stylist and fashion editor helped in guiding and oversee looks.

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Rameez Anwar Pays Tribute To His Own Legacy

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Rameez Khawaja Anwar, a composer and multi-instrumentalist takes the legacy of his grandfather, the renowned Pakistani music director Khawaja Khurshid Anwer farther by creating music that sounds back to an era when melody was in its pure form.

Rameez’s upcoming music video for his new song, ‘Woh Umeed Ki Manzil,’ is a love letter to songs of Bollywood-Lollywood past. The composition use instruments like vibraphone, bansuri, and sarangi, to the piano entrance to give a memorial to the golden era of sub continental film. The centrepiece of the track is an evocative vocal performance from Zeb Bangash, with the kind of flair typical of singers from that era. 

Born and raised in Texas, Rameez was always drawn to the film songs composed by his grandfather and other luminaries of the Bollywood-Lollywood film industries. 

“Growing up in America, my musical influences definitely skewed more towards Western pop, rock, and a little bit of hip hop, but our parents always made sure my siblings and I were exposed to Desi music from a young age, Rameez racalls.

The music video was directed by Maham Khwaja, another of Khurshid Anwar’s grandchildren.  Maham has tried to recreate the look and feel of one of her grandfather’s songs, from the black and white images to the hair, makeup, and wardrobe, and to garden setting overlooking a winding river with frames full of fog.  The video includes Aniqa Khwaja (no relation) and Nikhil Saboo, both are young and upcoming actors. 

The seed for the song actually began with Rameez’s father, Dr. Khawaja Nauman Anwar, when the latter was just a young boy. Anwar came up with the melody after reading a novel when he was 15-years old.  At the end of the novel was a poem which began, ‘Woh umeed ki manzil, ab kahaan nigaahon mein,’ on which Anwer came up with the melody in just ten minutes. However, despite growing up under the same roof as Khurshid Anwar, the young Anwar was not musically trained, so the tuned sat and kept in humming in head till his own son became able to grow the melody into a full-fledged song.

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