is a distinguished painter
. He was a teacher
at National College of Arts Lahore
. His watercolour paintings
show the grandeur of the old buildings and the cultural life in Lahore
Born in Ludhiana
, his father
was a cartoonist who apparently had stirred his passion from childhood and from whom he drew his inspiration. After obtaining his M.A. in Fine Arts
and a Gold medal
, he completed his Ph.D in Muslim
architecture, in Turkey
in 1978 and proceeded to do a course on Conservation of Cultural Property at UNESCO
in 1977. From 1972 he has been lecturing until he became Professor and Director of Art
Gallery NCA, Lahore
Old buildings of Lahore
city are the main theme of his paintings. He has tried to preserve those buildings in his paintings which are replaced by new style buildings or they are crumbling. These are the buildings of old Lahore, not all are historical but common homes of common people are the centre of his attention. Natural lively colours make the buildings alive.
People in his Paintings
Although buildings are the main theme of his paintings and people are just there to make a normal life but the characters he used in his paintings are the quintessential of the life of Lahore
. The characters are faceless but they represent the common people found in the bazars: A Tonga rider, women walking in the bazar, children playing, milkman, old persons talking,and sellers of all kinds. Ajaz Anwar not only preserved our buildings he has also preserved our daily life too.
Kites are almost always present in his every painting. His main themes are common homes or buildings and on the roof of every building there is a kite lover and on the sky above there are lot of kites colouring the sky.
Life in Detail
With close observation we find a detailed life in his paintings. A woman is peeping from the window or behind the curtain, a cock is searching for food bits in the garbage.
Comments on Work
“In my paintings, I highlight the parts of Lahore
that must be preserved. I remove skyscrapers and instead incorporate tongas and sweetmeat shops,” he said in an interview. The main focus of his paintings are not human figures. “The human
figures are only used to bring these crumbling buildings to life. People are not important aspects of my art because they are born and reborn whereas these buildings, once destroyed, will be lost forever.”
Ajaz Anwar is the recipient of the President’s "Pride of Performance in Painting" in 1997.
Lahore, Ankara, Rawalpindi, Istanbul, Rome, Kampala, Chandigarh, Delhi and London.
His paintings will be on display in Government College University Lahore on Tuesday October 30,at Minhas Art Gallery and will continue tll November 17.
Ajaz Anwar leads Lahore Conservation Society and doing his utmost to preserve the Lahore as it was and preserving Lahore's heritage, has become a personal crusade. "This is not in good taste and it does not resemble the original shape of these shops at all," said Ajaz Anwar to BBC.