Born in Ludhiana in 1946, Ajaz Anwar after obtaining his M.A. in Fine Arts and a Gold medal in 1967, completed his PhD in Muslim architecture, in Turkey in 1978 and proceeded to do a course on Conservation of Cultural Property at Unesco, Rome in 1977. From 1972 lectured until he became Professor and Director of Art Gallery NCA, Lahore.
The old buildings of Lahore are the main theme of his paintings. Thanks to his efforts Tollington Market on Mall Road Lahore was saved from demolition. He leads Lahore Conservation Society and doing his utmost to preserve the Lahore as it was and its heritage.
“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 was the recipient of the Islamic Republic’s “Pride of Performance in Painting” in 1997.
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