ISLAMABAD: Multifaceted programmes, exhibitions and cultural shows were held at the Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) on Saturday to celebrate Pakistan Day.

One of the most interesting was A Thousand Words, an exhibition of photography by Azhar Hafeez that showcased the beauty of Pakistan through photos of flora and fauna, landscape and life, in tribute to what the photographer described as the ‘heroes of Pakistan’.

“The exhibition is culturally rich and what we needed today to celebrate Pakistan Day. The essence of Pakistan has been preserved in a lot of the photographs in the show, from different and diverse parts of the country,” said Nadir Mahmood Sadiq.

Another guest remarked that some of the photographs looked like paintings until closely scrutinised.

“They are so beautifully captured that such displayed should also travel to other countries,” remarked Mr Sadiq.

The two halls of the National Art Gallery were decorated by 76 images of landscapes and wildlife, as well as portraits. The show also included photographs taken in China and Kenya.

“The way he depicted the cultures of Pakistan, which are full of colour, take us to places we have not visited personally and make us realize what many of us are missing out on,” engineering student Amna Aurangzaib said.

She added that she found the landscapes more attractive than the others, pointing out in particular a photograph of the snow-capped Rakaposhi Peak seen through golden autumn leaves.

The collection also included images of hanging bridges in Hunza, bull racing in Fatehjang, a panoramic view of Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, the road to Passu, Noor Mahal in Bahawalpur, Kof mountain goats at the Khunjerab Pass, a sunset in Sukkur and the Baya weavers in Islamabad.

An equally colourful catalogue was also published to inform visitors on the concept behind the photographs.

While Mr Hafeez described his photographs as his contribution to the celebrations on March 23, PNCA Director General Jamal Shah said the exhibition was a kaleidoscope of colours and images encapsulating beauty in faces and breathtaking landscapes.

“Looking at our people and land through the eyes of Azhar Hafeez, one gets a swell of pride in the merciful bounties that God has showed on Pakistan,” Mr Shah said.

The exhibition will continue till April 6.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2019