Years of turmoil and conflict had left no physical and virtual space for artists in Kashmir. We took matters in our own hands five years ago and worked hard (extremely hard!) to revive the art-scene in Kashmir and successfully took it to the international stage. We are taking it a leap ahead. We are establishing a Grand centre for contemporary arts and research. First ever physical space of its kind! And the journey has just begun…
The Canvas reached the shores of Malacca Straits all the way from Schaffhausen in Switzerland on 14th October 2014. After a lot of waiting was done, the Rolling Canvas was handed over to Al-Aqsa and Friends’ Society of International Islamic University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur in coordination with Kashmir Institute of International Affairs.
A number of local and international artists had expressed their interest in being part of this unique initiative. Moaaz Alarini from Palestine, Mohammad from Iran, Mahmoud Albaghdady from Damascus, Syria among others with local Malaysians joining their artistic abilities on Sunday, 19th of October.
They added local flavours with their own theme called ‘Relove-ution’. It was appreciated by the University officials and local audience who participated in the 3 day exhibition at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur – many of whom expressed their willingness to join in the next initiative on Kashmir.
On Friday, 24th of October exhibition was closed and the canvas was rolled and sent on its next destination – Alto Paraíso de Goiás, Brazil.
(Text by Muhammad Faysal – Edited)
“A stream of beeswax connects several parts of the picture.
The warm material is soft as well as hard,
It protects and carries symbols of fullness, birth and trust for the changes of life.”
– Karin Juraubek Rutschmann
- Petra Feliser
- Katarina Waser-Ouwerkerk
Keep the canvas rolling Phase 8 @ Museumsnight 22.9.2014 Schaffhausen , Switzerland.
Kashmir has witnessed one of the most severe calamities in its recent history. The floods came and caused immeasurable destruction to life, property, and infrastructure – and also washed away a major chunk of our treasures, historical archives, manuscripts, artworks, artifacts, cultural assets and so on.This is in addition to decades of turmoil and conflict which had severely hit the creative sector in Kashmir. Even before the floods came the artists hardly had any avenues to showcase their creative practices. Kashmir Art Quest through its numerous initiatives had been working to revive the contemporary art scene in Kashmir and promote creative and cultural entrepreneurship. In addition to our various initiatives which had a local, national and international focus, we were all set to create history by establishing Kashmir’s first ever centre for contemporary arts and research. This would have been a new chapter not only in the Kashmiri contemporary art scene but a first of its kind initiative to introduce Kashmir to the world.
However, as mentioned above the floods have severely damaged whatever bit of art infrastructure was there in Kashmir. The lone institute of music and fine arts, which was already in shambles, was located at Rajbagh in Srinagar – which was one of the most badly hit areas. The water level rose more than three stories high and damaged almost all the artworks including the structure of the building. The J&K academy of art culture and language, which was home to some other rarest artifacts, manuscripts, artworks and so on, met the same fate. “The strong-room that protected these priceless objects was fire-proof but not water proof,” Mr. Haroon tells us who is secretary at the academy. Over the years Kashmir Art Quest has worked with more than 200 artists in Kashmir including the leading contemporaries. A lot of them have suffered damage because of the floods. Their artworks and studios were washed away along with their homes.
Kashmir Art Quest has a proven track record of executing some of the most unique art initiatives and these floods have only strengthen our commitment towards the betterment of art and artists in Kashmir. The challenging task that we had taken upon ourselves is now a mammoth task. Funding for the arts was always absent in this conflict-redden region and we were always dependent on small donations, local sponsorship and innovative methodologies to work within extremely limited means. We realize that we require greater external support to continue what we are doing. This is a matter of great urgency. Help us rehabilitate artists, and revive and preserve the art and culture of Kashmir.
We are open to suggestions and further discussions as to what our future plans are.
We look forward to your support.
Syed Mujtaba Rizvi
Managing Director, Kashmir Art Quest.
+91 9596 355 455
Free for Kashmir Art Quest artists involved in our project, “KEEP THE CANVAS ROLLING”
“PHKR is currently accepting submissions, and is sending out a call to artists from around the world, and at all stages in their art careers, to submit their portfolios for consideration. We are interested work by international artists who are doing exciting and socially minded projects, work that exists outside the boundaries of the typical gallery, and the work of students and emerging artists, but are open-minded about all proposals.”
Full details here: