Portraits of eminent city women appear on KPC walls
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By Shazia Hasan | 10/28/2016 12:00:00 AM
KARACHI: The trend of honouring people who made and are still making their city and country proud through their work has also reached the Karachi Press Club (KPC) boundary walls where artists from Phool Patti are busy painting their portraits.

Haider Ali, CEO and head truck artist ofPhoolPattihas been selected by I Am Karachi for their latest beatification of the city project that will see the late social worker and fighter for the poor Perveen Rahman, playwright Fatima Surraya Bajia, human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, and architect Yasmeen Lari and veteran woman journalist Zubeida Mustafa, all rubbing shoulders with one another on the KPC boundary wall, where people are often seen raising their voices against injustice.

`They are also delaying my work, Haider Ali laughs as he shares his experience of working outside the oldest press club of the country. `I arrive here early, at 10am, so I can do most work before the protesters arrive,` he says. `Otherwise they just hold sit-ins right here on the footpath and just don`t budge however times I request them to because they also don`t want to leave their prized spots to have to sit in the sun,` he adds.

The artists and his students also work late for the same reasons. `When the protesters leave, we again have the wallsand footpaths to ourselves. We remain here till llam,` he says, adding that although he and his company as better known for creating splendid truck art all over the world, including the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, for Luton Culture in England, the East Side Gallery in Berlin and the Pakistani High Commission there and in New Delhi, Canadian Senate, the visa section of the US consulate and the Swiss consulate in Karachi and portions of the M.T. Khan Road walls and those at the Cantonment railway station here, the KPC walls weren`t really truck art but more fine art.

Haider Ali was also joined by a foreigner as he went about his work on Thursday. `He`s Len, a student of art visiting here from Belgium where the museum houses a rickshaw that I decorated with truck art,` says the artist, who hoped to complete the five portraits in around six days time.

KPC secretary A.H. Khanzada says that they were approached by I Am Karachi about two to three months ago for this project, which the KPC had no objection to. `They had whitewashed the walls and left them to dry when wall chalking of different slogans appeared on them overnight and the work was left midway,` he says.

`Then came the Nelson Paints people who painted the walls green with monuments such as Quaid-i-Azam`s mausoleum, Minar-i-Pakistan, etc. It prompted I Am Karachi to approach us againregarding their unfinished project so we asked them to complete it but do itquickly before more slogans appear, thus we have the artists who are work-ing here from morning till late evening every day.