Merging painting, video, miniature painting, sculpture and installation, Sitara-e-Imtiaz recipient Imran Qureshi unveiled “The Garden”, a new solo exhibition, at Nasir Bagh, Lahore in collaboration with Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) on the 4th of February 2024.
Nasir Bagh is an historic landmark dating back to pre-partition Lahore, re-named post partition after Egypt’s second President, Jamal Abdul Nasir. Through time, this park has been a host to some of the nation’s most consequential socio-political events, that have left an indelible mark on Pakistan’s history. Recognizing its symbolic significance, the PHA has recently revamped the park, now featuring a state-of-the-art public gallery, The Barracks, so named after the actual barracks present within the space, harking back to the park’s colonial lineage. This new gallery debuted with a solo show of globally lauded artist Imran Qureshi, titled “The Garden”, organized by Imran Ahmad.
Through “The Garden”, Imran Qureshi aims to explore the relationship between various facets of the landmark’s history by transforming the underground bunkers present at Nasir Bagh into an immersive space through an interdisciplinary approach that explores the relationship between ecology, beauty, and violence.
“I wanted to use the unexpected presence of the barracks in the garden to create unanticipated associations with environment and history; with imagery that infiltrates the entrance of the underground space just like water seeping in from above. So that when the viewer enters, there is a deluge of imagery flooding and transforming the space.” explained Imran Qureshi.
As explained further by Mr. Tahir Wattoo, Director General Punjab Horticulture Authority (PHA), “Imran Qureshi’s ‘The Garden’ at The Barracks is art in the city’s heart.”
On the park revamp and the introduction of a gallery, Imran Qureshi added: “The aim is to change the way people think about the park. What I am most excited about is for people to have this unique contemporary gallery in the middle of the city. Interventions such as this can mark the beginning of a new era in Pakistan’s public art scene”.
The Garden exhibition opened for viewing on 4th February 2024 and will continue to be on display till the summer of 2024.