A look behind Abwab: Pakistan Pavilion

A Dubai Design Week initiative, Abwab sees six pavilions given over to designers and curators from Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE. Under the theme of Games: The Element of Play in Culture, it will celebrate the MENASA region’s diverse creative thinking.

Curator Salman Jawed¸ co-founder of Coalesce Design Studio in Karachi, shares his design team’s poetic narrative behind Abwab’s Pakistan pavilion:

The courtyard is a place where every Pakistani child and adult makes space for himself to entertain, and interact with each other. With this in mind, we have created a DALAAN: a space to which all doors open and in which we capture glimpses and moments of games in action

The tangle of Maanja, where kites are being flown, the flick of the finger whilst playing kancha, the twirling of the latoo, and the swift throw of the ball to scatter all the pittu pieces, we want our viewer to feel the energy that our otherwise simple games contain.

Since only a hand-drawn touch can, in our opinion, portray the nuances of our culture, each game is sketched with a fast and furious stroke, then the sketch is rendered and edited on the computer, to achieve the final result.

From the beginning, we wanted to incorporate a single dying craft into our installation and turn it into a graphic and modern final piece. We came across the process of printing with natural dyes, which fits perfectly with the earthy feel of our DALAAN. Our artist has experimented with various organic shades, ranging from Henna to terracotta to achieve the perfect ethnic earthy tone that is reminiscent of our ‘Wattan Ki Mitti’ (the earth of our country).

We have created the entire space using silk and silk screens, symbolic of the fluid and flowing nature of our games. To tie up the whole experience, we intend to use sound, in an unusual way, not as a composition or a song, but as alienated sounds combined in a soundmap. From the loud whirring of our rickshaws, to the chirp of the cuckoo, we want our viewers to subconsciously listen to the Sounds of Pakistan."

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