Chinmoyi Patel

Testimony 20th November 2006

Dear Sir,

I would like to start by thanking you for providing me with this wonderful opportunity to come to Lahore. I was very disappointed when my visa didn't come through.

In fact, everyone except Mrs. Salima Hashmi had lost hope of me coming, including myself! Thankfully it all worked out for the best. I am very proud of being the first Indian female student to avail of this chance.

Sir, this would be an excellent platform to bridge relations and have cultural exchanges between the two countries. In fact, I was surprised to see how it is so unlike the ideas and notions one has grown up with about Pakistan.

There are so many similarities between the two countries that it is a shame we have distanced ourselves due to political agenda. I am grateful that my parents too saw this as a remarkable opportunity and encouraged me despite some objections and criticism. I find the people here very hospitable and much intrigued by the fact that an Indian has come "all the way" to Pakistan to study Art! I got a free rickshaw ride and even a couple of free items in the local bazaar!

I am very anxious to make the most of my time here and hence have tried to create a versatile programme. I have inevitably succumbed to the charms of Miniature painting! On coming to Lahore I was struck by this innate need for details and ornamentation.


I am learning the technical and theoretical concepts of Miniature painting. Even though K is very different from the work I did previously for my degree show, 1 am drawn to K. I intend to pursue it more seriously during my stay in Lahore. It will be interesting to amalgamate the miniatures with the metal and flat acrylic paints I used in my degree show work. Or even to re?interpret it in a completely different manner.

I am a Teacher's Assistant to a contemporary art professor. This is a vital course as it brings one into tune with contemporary art practices. I feel it is necessary for me to understand the very world I aspire to be part of. I am also helping out at the Lahore Museum twice a week. They are documenting the Bengal School Wash Technique paintings in the Museum's collection.

The Wash Technique is almost extinct as it is very tedious. Hence I am helping them with some research and practical experiments too see if one can practice this rigorous technique without prior training.

Hopefully it will lead to positive results and a 'revival' of sorts! Apart from that, I have attended an Art Restoration Workshop at the Museum and I want to travel around in Pakistan.

Sir, I would really have liked to meet you and thanked you in person. However, as I end, I hope this letter adequately conveys my sincere gratefulness.

Yours sincerely,
Chinmoyi Patel