Rawalpindi : Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC) organized a unique wood art exhibition by international fame artisan Muhammad Saleem Mughal here on Tuesday.
Senator Najma Hameed, Tahira Aurangzeb, member National Assembly along with Naheed Manzoor and Resident Director Waqar Ahmed inaugurated the exhibition. 51 years old Wazirabad origin artisan spent 38 years in promoting this unique art.
Muhammad Saleem Mughal is a master craftsman in wood art and used to live in the neighborhood of intellectuals Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi and Muno Bhai. They got education from same school. He has God-gifted wood art which is totally different from his ancestors. He started to learn brass work but later shifted to wood art in 1973 and made first model of a house in 1974 and sold it in 25 rupees out of 6 rupees paid for his admission in 6th class. He often uses teak wood for crafting most profusely intricate carved items.
Saleem uses walnut wood, cedar and shisham for creating exquisitely models and decorative items. A single item takes two months to two years for completion. He has prepared lots of master pieces including Khana Kaaba, Masjid Nabvi, plazas, and houses. He also made statues of famous personalities of the world including Benazir Bhutto. He is infact a self-made engineer by his inner qualities who has sent his art pieces to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Spain, Norway, America, India, France, Canada, Greek, Japan, China and Korea. He is satisfied with his profession and desire to shift it to his next generation. He is imparting training to several students, thus ensuring continuity of his art to the younger generations.
In this regard, Saleem Mughal runs an Art Centre in Gujranwala and has trained more than two hundred students all over Pakistan and has a museum of having 100 unique wood art pieces. The special is that he is scribing Holy Quran with cedar wood which is first ever attempt in the world. He has set a target of 17 years because one para takes two and half years to complete. Saleem Mughal has not yet received any national or international award from any government but he thinks that honor from God is more important than any award. Apart from wood art he is a good singer. He got recorded his first song in 1984 from Radio Pakistan Lahore with famous musician Taasaduq Ali Khan. He sings ghazal, geet and kafi.
After inaugural ceremony, Senator Najma Hameed said that it was a true reflection of our magnificent cultural heritage which certainly served to express a louder message to the world that Pakistanis are creative and peaceful nation”.
Tahira Aurangzeb, member National Assembly said that the craftsman must be provided a platform and also certainly get a chance to sell their products to public without involvement of middleman, thus the Rawalpindi Arts Council has a definite same role and contribution. The craftsmen are portraying real picture of peaceful Pakistan. Islam also gives superlative degree to them who earns livelihood by honest means, she added.
A large number of visitors including families, youth and general public from twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi attended the exhibition arranged by Rawalpindi Arts Council.