Wood artist Mohammad Saleem Mughal impresses with his masterpieces

Masterpieces of wood artist Mohammad Saleem Mughal on Tuesday impressed art lovers at an exhibition held in Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC).

Living in the neighbourhood of intellectuals like Attaul Haq Qasmi and Munno Bhai, Mr Mughal, in his early 50s, made first model of a house from wood in 1974 when he was in 6th class and sold it for Rs25.

“At that time my school admission fee was Rs6,” .

He said it took him 38 long years to promote wood art the world over and attract its lovers from several countries.

He said he had prepared a lot of masterpieces including Khana Ka’aba, Masjid-i-Nabvi, plazas and houses besides making statues of famous personalities of the world including former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

He is in fact a self-made engineer and has sent his art pieces to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Spain, Norway, America, India, France, Canada, Greek, Japan, China and Korea.

Mughal, who also runs an art centre in Gujranwala which houses 100 unique wood art pieces, said he was satisfied with his profession and desired to pass on his skill to the next generation.

Senator Najma Hameed and MNA Tahira Aurangzeb inaugurated the exhibition and was impressed by the skills of the artisan.

Mughal has also made the first ever attempt to scribe Holy Quran on cedar wood for which he has set a deadline of 17 years, as one para (chapter) of the holy book takes two-and-a-half years to complete.

Saleem Mughal has not yet received any national or international award from any government.

He said he often used teak wood for crafting most profusely intricate carved items. He also uses walnut wood, cedar and shisham for creating models and decorative items. A single item takes two months to two years to complete.

Apart from wood art he is a good singer. He recorded his first song in 1984 from Radio Pakistan Lahore with famous musician Taasaduq Ali Khan. He sings ghazal, geet and kafi.

After the inaugural ceremony, Senator Najma Hameed said it was a true reflection of our magnificent cultural heritage which certainly served to give a louder message to the world that Pakistanis were creative and peaceful.

MNA Tahira Aurangzeb said the craftsman must be provided a platform and also get a chance to sell their products to public for promoting peace that would ultimately portray soft image of the country.


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