Argentinean Painter Mariano Akerman educates through Art in Pakistan

Islamabad, April 20th, 2010 (EFE). Man’s nudity facing crisis or the force of life in front of destruction are palpable in the prized works of a competition which today marked the culmination of the activities developed by the Argentinean painter Mariano Akerman, to educate through art in Pakistan.

Amid laughs, surprise and some incredulity, ten young students of the National University of Modern Languages were prized for their collages, with which, according to Akerman (Buenos Aires, 1963), they were supposed to approach the notions of modernity and freedom, to offer a dialog.

"A collage is somehow like Pakistan, because in both there are many components elements, but also discipline, a value so appreciated by Muhammad Ali Jinnah", said Akerman in front of nearly a hundred students.

In Pakistan, the painter established a dialog between the South Asian country and Western culture through lectures, workshops and art exhibitions.

His last initiative was Raisons d'être (Reasons for Being), a cycle of conferences about the artistic trends and pictorial heritage of the francophone countries, which took place in art academies, universities and other educational centers in the cities of Lahore and Islamabad between March and April 2010. See brochure online.

Simultaneously, the also architect and historian Akerman launched a collage competition to the students of those educational institutions, and there entries had to be accompanied by texts in English, French or Spanish.

"It has been one of the best experiences of mi life, because we study languages, but seldom deal with art. We aren’t professional artists, yet we have learnt lots about inspiration, determination and courage in life thanks to Akerman", revealed to EFE Kalsoom Nawab, one of the contest winners, holding the first prize in her hand.

A butterfly, with the left wing in black and silver, and the right one in pink and brown, symbolizes the force of life confronting the destruction of Nature. The collage received the first prize.

Another one refers to the "serious sociopolitical condition" of Pakistan and describes the insecurity suffered by its citizens (also deprived of water and electricity) via an exposed man, nude and in a phoetal position that remains located in a turbulent context.

In the students' works, ropes, plastic, cotton-wool, magazine and newspaper sheets, carton, aluminum o emerge from watercolor, gouache and pencil backgrounds.

As a technique, "the collage does not involve the tyranny of a closed system, but allows flexibility and inclusion," expressed the Argentinean artist to EFE. He was indeed satisfied with the level of "excellece" present in some of the works.

According to Akerman, almost a thousand people participated in the meetings and around a hundred students presented their entries to the collage competition.

"I think that it’s always important to open a window toward the world and learn about things that are distant to us, about things we usually don’t have access to. The fact of participating with the collages in an event devoted to inventiveness and expression gives the local people an opportunity to express themselves, something which in general they hardly achieve otherwise," observed Akerman.

The prizes to the winners were artworks by the Argentinean painter himself, a series of collages and watercolors with motifs relating to the ideas of surprise, cultural clustering and landscape.

In his more than three decades of professional career, Mariano Akerman, distinguished with numerous international prizes, exhibited his artwork in galleries, museums and cultural centers of Argentina, Japan, Spain, Philippines, Sweden and Pakistan. Since two decades the artist resides in Asia, "the continent -he declared- of spirituality."


International The News, Pakistan - text online

ADN-Spain, video online

Diario de Ibiza

Galicia Hoxe

Diario Vasco, San Sebastián

ArteFe, Santa Fe, Argentina

Hoy Digital, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

MSN Video, México

Sun Sentinel, Florida, U.S.A.

Text is partly based on Igor G. Barbero's report from Islamabad, "Un pintor argentino educa a través del arte en Pakistán," Noticias EFE, 20.4.2010. Translation into the English language, links and photographs by Mariano Akerman - All rights reserved.


Joan Pohl said...

Well done and I don't mean 'like a steak.'

Dr Jenny Naseem said...

A good compilation !

Umair Shahid said...

Mariano, great to see you are doing such good work for the youth of Pakistan!

Kalsoom Nawab said...

This is wonderful. I love this article. It defines the purpose. And it is great. Thank you and regards.

Liuba Fedotova said...

Hello, Mariano! Thank you for the news. I've read the article with pleasure. Kisses

Lei Fang said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful experience. Best regards

Gina desde el Centro said...

Querido Mariano: me emocioné al verte y escucharte. En cuanto a tu trabajo en Pakistán es magnífico. El acercamiento de la cultura occidental a través del arte es un puente cubierto de flores. Y ojalá produzca frutos. En este mundo, donde todos se arañan, tu labor es un rayo de luz en las tinieblas. Muy interesante y sobre todo productivo. Ascendiendo. Te felicito de todo corazón.

Gab desde Florida said...

International The News: "Mariano Akerman's talk was a delight from beginning to end — he has the knack of catching the interest of his audience as soon as he introduces his topic."
Ahora que te vi en video, puedo atestiguar yo misma lo aquí expresado. Sin duda, tenés ese arte y magia de atrapar a la audiencia con tu gran pasión por lo que expones :) Este artículo es un lujo y un placer de leer. *very proud smile for you** ¡Bravo! gab ~

Yuka Nakasone said...

Es fantástico. Comprendo muy bien de que amas el país donde vives y su gente. A seguir con tus trabajos maravillosos por la humanidad. Y sobre todo, sigue inspirando la gente.