Dear all! Hopefully all of you have had a stunning week so far. So I have this habit of composing an entire post and then saving it in the drafts. Hands up if you have done this too! So now I have over 5 new posts pending and am spending my Thursday evening editing and getting ready to hit you with a bunch of new, sophisticated event updates.

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Let me first start by introducing you to the ‘Mussawir Art Gallery’. The gallery is a unique art haven that specializes in high-end, contemporary Pakistani art and aims to grow its art collection with established and emerging artists from within the Middle Eastern region. Founded by industry professionals and art collectors, it was designed to raise visibility of one of the world’s most culturally rich and diverse regions and celebrates upcoming artists by providing them with a platform into the art world. It has influenced individuals of all ages and has inspired several to pursue and appreciate colour, creation, expression and to hone their talents with painting, drawing and other fine art techniques. Since Dubai is a center of cross culture and a hub of various civilizations, the Mussawir Art Gallery is a great cultural center for extensive knowledge and experience with pictorial art.  

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Last week, the gallery had an exhibition viewing for *Here and Now—Modern Miniatures* An exhibit that features a beautiful integration of old and new history and art forms. Several students, art connoisseurs and patrons learned about the ways of painting miniatures from the exhibition, and also introduced them to the work of 9 artists, that had recently graduated  from the prestigious National College of Arts in Lahore.

The beginning of miniature painting came from the Mughal Empire at which time miniaturists had to apprentice under a master for years of training. All the miniatures were painted using a classic brush made up of single, wiry horsehair and were composed on wasli, a handmade, cooking flour-based paper that is poisonous to insects and used exclusively as a canvas for miniatures. In today’s day this ancient and celebrated art style can now be selected as a concentration in Fine Arts programs at prestigious schools around the country and using the same traditional style and form. A fine example of this was demonstrated at the event, although the materials and techniques used to create the miniatures are time-honored, the images themselves are an absolute contrast to that. Several of the paintings have diverse forms and combines ideas from the old and new world. Abstraction and overlaps with many modern day elements were used to create the various paintings at the exhibit and even though the artists have to maintain the integrity and honesty of the art, they did not hesitate add their own interpretation to create work that stretches the rules and bounds of miniaturist style.

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What I loved most about the concept is the unique way in which the owners of Mussawir have fought to keep their roots alive, several art traditions die over the decades but in today’s time, exposing the art to new regions and people has kept it thriving. The gallery is located in an Al Quoz warehouse and is a highly recommend that individuals visit it, or even take part in one of the many workshops that Mussawir regularly offers.

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Until our next rendezvous.

Xx. Vikita .xX

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