What is ART? Defining art is essentially similar to squeezing an ocean in a pond. Art can briefly be defined as the creation of visual, auditory, aesthetical or lingual artworks specifically meant to evoke inspiration, generate emotions through its seemingly invisible ideological power, originated from an artist’s creative skills or inner thoughts. French auteur Jean-Luc Godard strips the definition of art to its barest; “Art is not a reflection of reality. It is the reality of reflection.” Art is perhaps the only artificial creation most precious to a human’s soul as I believe no humanistic invention acts upon the human heart as boldly as art does. The following Oscar Wilde quote, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” leads me to accept the assumption that art is a set and life its subset. The average inhabitant of an under-developed orthodox nation such as our very own is yet to acknowledge the worth of art in its entirety of art-forms given how most people today are unaware of its fundamental definitions, let alone its ultimate horizons, and according to whom the word “art” simply and only denotes the act of painting or drawing something.
However the diversification of art is in fact all over the place whether it is music, theatrics, film, poetry, sculpture, literature and so on. With a misconception this big, our countrymen lagging far behind in artforms compared to the rest of the world is of no surprise. The root problem of all this is actually the unavailability of necessary career- counseling, of which Pakistani youth, aspirant of huge artistic dreams, are stripped off of resulting in an artistic crisis or professional instability in general, all over. Moreover, for a good portion of the average back-warded Pakistani population, pursuing any sort of art form whatsoever is considered surprisingly taboo only for their lack of education in this matter. Consequently, artists having a born-aptitude for the art-form that interests them and who could potentially inspire millions with their artifacts only if a requisite way is paved for them by society, are discouraged and all those dreams, aspirations, skills and finesse gets buried within forever.
Where everything almost everywhere suffers scarcity in quality as the condition otherwise is ideal, hence unachievable, Pakistan’s entertainment industry ,in particular is in somewhat a drought and has been for quite some time now. To put it right, Pakistan isn’t in a drought of talent but a in a drought of putting that talent to good use. When entertainment is looked upon solely as a money-grabbing maneuver, lack of artistic vitality follows. Although it is only true and natural that everything is sought for only if it ensures one’s satisfactory livelihood but putting this up exclusively as a monetary gateway only toxifies the artist and degrades the art itself qualitatively. The thing is that art and entertainment go hand-in-hand; one without the other naturally feels desiccated or proves to be useless in the long run. Fundamentally art is meant to provoke revolutionary thoughts in people’s minds or bring up honest truths about life in bittersweet words. The acclaimed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami says “The calling of art is to extract us from reality to a truth that’s not accessible – to a level that’s not material but spiritual”. Therefore, entertainment just for the sake of entertainment neither serves the purpose right nor does it do the humanity any good. If something could be presented to audience for sake of entertainment BUT in an artistically thought-provoking manner with some visionary conception to it, not only will it metamorphose minds into contemplating over something purposeful and entertain them just the same. The Russian filmmaker Andrej Tarkovski famously remembered as the ‘the poet of cinema’ narrates; “The purpose of art has always been to help man improve himself spiritually”. Man’s soul stays hungry for beauty and just so it happens; art can be endlessly beautiful and hence proves as the best possible remedy. Like they say, if an emotive piece of art never brings a tear or two in you, you aren’t human enough.
Jumping to conclusions, I believe there exists a dire need that the Pakistani audience must be well-introduced to at least a fraction of where the premises of art lie and what its extremities can be and by doing so we can hope to achieve the requisite taste in people so as to generate a rush of revolutionary artifacts in whatever form. Only this can elevate Pakistan up in the talks of nations influencing the world with their ingenious and exhilarating works of art in every genre, be it cinema, music, lingual arts, hand-made art-pieces and such. Take the art of filmmaking for instance, Pakistan unfortunately has a very few works in this medium that it could present to the rest of the world and what would be strictly an accurate representation to its existence, its cultural boundaries, societal behaviors, its nationwide stance, ideological contribution but the number of such works is terribly bothersome considering what nations all across the globe have done In this regard; and that’s only a single art-form. The aforementioned instance solidifies my opinion to educate and promote the masses towards working on creating honest, awe-inspiring and igniting think-pieces in every existing medium of art.