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Artist Imran Qureshi honoured at the Prestigious Asia Arts Game Changer Awards

LAHORE: Internationally acclaimed and award winning Pakistani artist Imran Qureshi has been honored at the Prestigious Asia Arts Game Changer.The awardees for this year also include Christine Ay Tjoe, Fang Lijun and Natee Utarit.Qureshi was honoured at a ceremony hosted by the Asia Society in Hong Kong on 29th March 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel.The Asia Arts Game Changer Awards is a signature event honoring the Asia Arts Game Changers.
Every year, major art collectors, artists, gallerists and dignitaries from the art world along with Asia Society trustees and patrons gather to celebrate contemporary art in Asia and honor artists and arts professionals for their significant contributions to contemporary art. For more than twenty years, Asia Society has been a pioneer in identifying and fostering the latest contemporary Asian artists, and engaging new audiences for their work.
Past honorees include: Cai Guo-Qiang, Hon Chi Fun, Abir Karmakar, Krishen Khanna, Bharti Kher, Kimsooja, Lee Ufan, Liu Guosong, Nalini Malani, Nyoman Masriadi, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Do Ho Suh, teamLab, Wucius Wong, Xu Bing, Zeng Fanzhi, and Zhang Xiaogang to name a few.Speaking about receiving the Asia Arts Game Changer Award, Imran Qureshi said, “I am honoured to receive this prestigious award – it is for Pakistan.
Art transcends boundaries and this award will also highlight the art in and from my country.”Imran Qureshi is renowned for his site-specific paintings, installations, and videos created in the style of Indo-Persian miniature painting as a means to explore contemporary socio-political themes.His elegant miniatures often juxtapose figures in modern dress against ornate landscapes that reflect contemporary life in Pakistan while his large-scale works feature red leaves and floral patterns that are meant to provoke thoughtful reflection on the sometimes tenuous and often bloody relationship between religious ideologies and warfare. Qureshi has exhibited internationally, including at The Curve, Barbican Centre, London (2016); the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2013); the 10th Sharjah Biennial (2011); and Asia Society Museum, New York (2009).

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Studying in the UK? Travel for less than £40 this Easter break

The UK university academic year runs from September to June with a few weeks of break for Christmas and Easter.This year, Easter falls on 21 April, and UK university students enjoy a break of up to four weeks in the name of this Christian holiday.What better way to spend this time than to jet off for some unique travel experiences?If youve got a little cash to spare, here are our top picks for return flights (from who else, but RyanAir) that cost £40 or less:

1. London to Palma de Mallorca £30Grades dont matter hereat least for a while.Source: ShutterstockIn this Mediterranean city, April is the perfect month to explore the mountains inland or head for long walks along the sun-kissed beach. In this popular paradise, you can check out the best-known route from the Torrent de Pareis Gorge from Escorca to the sea, or if youre feeling more adventurous, head to a national park located on the small, uninhabited Cabrera Islands.For beaches, you cant go wrong with Playa de Formentor and Es Trenc.

2.London to Faro £30Fasinating cultural history meets old-town charm. Source: ShutterstockFaro is the gateway to Portugals alluring south coast.The capital of the Algarve is a vibrant city that offers something for everyone. Whether your mates are into Roman ruins or the regions shellfish gastronomy and unspoiled beaches, youll find it here in this seriously underrated European travel destination.

3. London to Budapest £36Beers on wheels.Source: ShutterstockIn true Jack Whitehall-style, this is the city where you can ride a beer bike (and try Unicum liqueur), find magic at the House of Houdini and take a boat down the river Danube all within one city!

4. Edinburgh to Copenhagen £35Rides, games, musicals, ballet, concerts and more! Source: ShutterstockTivoli Gardens, the world’s second-oldest amusement park, opens again in early April after a long winter break.Get your adrenaline fix from its massive selection of rides, bask in its sumptuous architecture and relax in its gorgeous gardens. Copenhagen is also home to the oldest university and research institution in Denmark, and the second-oldest institution for higher education in Scandinavia.A visit to some of its world-class museums is also a must!

5. Manchester to Ibiza £36Source: ShutterstockApril may not be the most obvious time to go ther but with winter firmly over and summer ready to take off, its definitely one of the most beautiful times of year to visit the island.
Though less bars, restaurants, boats and even the roads will be open, this is peaceful downtime that could do a lot of good for your tired soul after all the hard work this semester.

6.Manchester to Alicante £40Sun, sea and sand. Source: Shutterstock Every student needs a rejuvenating rest once in a while.
In Alicante, youll find a good dose of this with its long stretch of white, sandy beaches to while away the hours without a care in the world. If you have major cash to splash, head to the SHA Wellness Clinic for your pick of high-tech, whole-body wellness treatments.
Kick back and relax, whatever your budget. You deserve it!

7.Birmingham to Warsaw £30 Beautiful houses on the royal road in Warsaw. Source: ShutterstockPolands intellectual centre is perfect for those looking to get their brain juices flowing.Whether youre into history (Museum of the Warsaw Uprising or Laze in Royal Łazienki Park), urban beauty (UNESCO-listed Old Town) or culture and architecture (Palace of Culture and Science), here, you can have your cake and eat it too!8.Leeds to Dublin £30One colourful and lively street you shouldnt miss.

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Arts center apologizes for calling off discussion panel on ‘Miss Saigon’

A Wisconsin arts center apologized Thursday for canceling a discussion panel about “Miss Saigon” hours before it was to take place.“First and foremost, we apologize for postponing last night’s event,” Ed Holmes, senior vice president for equity and innovation at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, said in a statement.“That was a mistake.”Holmes said the center canceled the panel out of concern that it was “becoming more of a lecture than a dialogue.”

New York: Miss Saigon returns to Broadway with bright, young Star.The panel, called “Asian American Perspectives on ‘Miss Saigon’: Stereotypes, History and Community,” was called to discuss long-standing issues surrounding the musical. The center said it would reschedule the event.”Miss Saigon,” about a young Vietnamese woman orphaned during the Vietnam War who has a child with an American soldier, has been a source of limited work for Asian-American performers, often allowing them to work on other projects. But it also has been criticized for its white-savior narrative, its portrayal of Asian women as sexual objects and as needing to be “saved,” and the emasculation and dehumanization of Asian men.

“We had said that education was really important in contextualizing the play so when people go to see it they have a sense of this history and they understand why Asian Americans have organized to protest it in the past,” Lori Lopez, an associate professor of Asian-American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who helped organize the panel, said by phone.The panelists and moderator scheduled to participate in the panel included professors from Asian-American studies programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota, a speaker from a local nonprofit, and an official from the Overture Center, where a touring version of “Miss Saigon” is scheduled to perform April 2 to 7.

“We’re scholars. We give talks all the time.This is the kind of conversation we’re really used to hosting,” Lopez said of the event cancellation. “We were upset because we had put so much work into it.”Several panel organizers decided to host a “teach-in” about the musical outside the center Wednesday night.After the “teach-in” was announced, the Overture Center offered the speakers the use of a space, which the speakers declined.Holmes said in the statement that the center has reinvited the panelists for an event scheduled to take place on April 24, after the show’s run in Madison.

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When we travel faster, what do we lose?

This is the marketing language on the web site for Boom Supersonic, a jet developer creating a plane that will travel at twice the speed of sound and The question Boom asks strikes me as surprisingly poignant, although perhaps not quite in the way it’s intended.
Contemplating the query as I slowly paddle a wooden board across the Sarasota Bay, water lapping at my ankles, going nowhere in particular as birds fly by and dolphins swim alongside my old-timey conveyance, it sounds accidentally profound, even downright philosophical. It’s practically a Zen koan, like “what is the sound of one hand clapping?” This is the kind of riddle you might mull a lifetime it’s so rich.Think on it and you may attain enlightenment, going beyond conscious thought altogether.Boom’s query is so good because it’s deceptively simple yet leaves so much to deconstruct.
Considering its parts only raises more questions. Here are just a few: What is time? What’s half of that? And what is the point of travel? Is it destinations or the path? Or is it actually getting back home? And is this new airplane the innovation we need, societally or individually, practically or philosophically?Securing a seatBlake Scholl, the founder of Boom, foresees a future where we’re practically teleporting from one continent to the next, when distance and time are barely related and we’re liberated from physical constraints.“Imagine crossing the Atlantic, conducting business, and being home in time to tuck your kids into bed,” the company website suggests. “Leave DC at 6:00 AM and make a 3:30 PM meeting in central London.Take your clients out to dinner and still be back in DC by 7:30pm local.”Airlines are betting that Scholl is onto something.
Boom has received substantial investments from both Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airlines. If all goes according to plan, Boom expects to break the sound barrier with an experimental jet this year; by 2025 the business should be fully operational, supplying airlines with commercial planes that will change our relationship to time and space.
If Boom and competing supersonic plane developers—like Boeing, Spike Aerospace, and Aerion Supersonic—have their way, business people will someday be able to pack even more busy-ness into over-scheduled lives. But I’m exhausted just mulling this task-filled futuristic day on two continents.Is spending the night in a hotel in London really that bad? To me, this emphasis on speed seems anything but luxurious. I’m uncertain that supersonic travel will actually improve the quality of life of those who’ll be able to afford this rapid transport.
To me, this emphasis on speed seems anything but luxurious.This, of course, leads to another question.While Scholl says that speed will help bring people across cultures closer, it’s worth noting that it’s also quite likely to increase the experiential distance between the rich and everyone else. Securing a spot on a speedy 55-seat Boom jet—where all passengers get both an aisle and window seat—will cost the price of a business class ticket on a classic airplane, the company predicts.That’s cheaper than a ticket on the Concorde, the supersonic jet that stopped operation in 2003 and cost nearly $11,000 for a roundtrip between New York and London.But Boom’s prices aren’t as affordable as a typical coach seat today.
So whatever advantages speedier travel brings, they won’t be available to everyone, and certainly not immediately, which means the world will only get more accessible for a tiny percentage of people.Faster than the speed of sound Perhaps more important than affordability and practicalities, though, are the abstract questions raised by supersonic flight.
For example, what is lost when time is gained?Getting anywhere is rarely anyone’s favorite part of a trip. Literally and metaphorically, humans tend to relish the destination over the path, viewing the journey as an inconvenience to be suffered for some ultimate result: arrival.
And Boom is planning to capitalize on that human tendency. Its website urges readers to contemplate how great it will be when everyone’s zipping around the world at top speed.No relationship will have to be long distance anymore, far-off colleagues will become familiar faces, and it will be standard to hop on a plane to Asia from the US and back, all before the jet lag even sets in.If time is money, then being extravagant about the hours is a luxury, and being in a hurry is perhaps a kind of existential stinginess.
But maybe there’s also something to be said for journeys that reflect the distances we travel, for pacing and rhythm. Distorting the relationship between miles and time doesn’t always improve our experience.
After all, if time is money, then being extravagant about the hours is a luxury, and being in a hurry is perhaps a kind of existential stinginess.We know from countless books, movies, and songs, that there’s adventure found in between places and that getting there can be as central to a story as a destination.Take Caity Weaver’s recent journey from New York to Los Angeles by train, which she documented in a New York Times Magazine story. Weaver paid about ten times as much as a plane ticket for her Amtrak rail adventure, and it took ten times as long as a flight.
Yet it was precisely the inefficiency that appealed to the writer, the path, the slowness, the space for contemplation that she savored. Weaver writes:Scale on a rail trip is what’s most arresting. An extended train ride affords a chance not just to see a horizon but also to soak it up.To luxuriate in the far-off for uninterrupted hours. To exist, briefly, in the uncharted sections of the cellphone-coverage map.
And it feels as if you’re getting away with something—seeing more than you deserve.For Weaver, taking the time to stare at endless horizons feels almost deliciously criminal because it’s so rare.
As Jack Kerouac writes in the early pages of his classic travel novel On the Road, “Somewhere along the line I knew there’d be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.”The Boom worldview suggests that the pearl—whatever treasure it is we seek when we leave home—is in a specific place and that the faster you get there, the better.The Kerouac perspective is that the adventure, the journey, the road itself, will yield treasures, and that destinations are secondary.In fact, the pearl might be found anywhere, on the journey, or upon arrival, maybe when you return home.
We may soon travel fast but that doesn’t mean slow paths are without value.Higher, faster—better?Scholl believes that Boom’s planes will go higher, faster, and better than any commercial airplanes ever have.He’s personally and professionally excited by the possibilities. “Supersonic is all about getting there faster and changing what you can do in a day,” he says on a recent episode of the podcast Should This Exist?But Boom has some technical and legal obstacles to overcome if this transformation is to occur.For one thing, many countries—including the US—don’t allow supersonic flight in their airspaces because of concerns about the effects of the loud, disruptive sounds the planes make. So even if Scholl gets Boom’s jets operational, they may have to fly at subsonic speeds in certain areas to comply with current regulations.
Boom argues on its site that in the long term, however, supersonic flight bans should “be reversed and replaced with a commonsense noise standard, set to promote efficient, affordable supersonic flight while disallowing nuisance.” It contends that its jets will make 30 times less noise than the Concorde did when breaking the sound barrier and that the dangers created by exposure to sonic booms are commonly exaggerated.The company also has to deal with heightened environmental concerns, although Boom claims that its planes will have the same fuel consumption and emissions profiles as classic subsonic jets with business class capacity and that high speed travel can be green. It plans to work with scientists and technologists to ensure the sustainability of supersonic travel, according to its website FAQ.
But given the many pressing transportation problems facing the world, is speeding up air travel even the best use of our precious intellectual and financial resources? “I look at the brilliance that it would probably take to create something like this and and part of me mourns for the problems that these people won’t be thinking about while they’re raising six billion dollars to create a 55-seat airplane that will essentially make it a little more painless for people whose lives are already painless to fly around the world,” says writer and editor Anand Girdharadas the episode of Should This Exist? Giridharadas wonders what those big thinkers could do with big budgets if tasked with solving big, pressing, serious issues, like addressing climate change.Giridharadas has a point.
It’s definitely worth reflecting on what value supersonic travel has and what it might do to humanity, now, while we still have the time. The steady march of technology has ensured that the pace of our lives has increased, too, just as relentlessly.And we might well be right to resist. Harried as we already are, exhausted by extensive use of tools designed to make our lives more efficient, it’s only natural and correct to ask if traveling faster to get more done in a day is really such a desirable goal.
But if transportation history is any indication, people will ultimately embrace this innovation and the world will change as a result. Before too long it could be common for passengers to drink champagne on a supersonic jet high above the Earth, toasting human ingenuity while hurtling faster than the speed of sound.Should This Exist? is a podcast, hosted by Caterina Fake, that debates how emerging technologies will impact humanity. for a more in-depth conversation on evaluating the human side of technology.

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Nawaz never refused medical treatment nor sought to travel abroad: Abbasi

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Tuesday that it was on record that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz.He made the comment while speaking to the media after the Supreme Court suspended Nawaz’s sentence on medical grounds for six weeks.

Nawaz, who is currently imprisoned at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore, was awarded a seven-year imprisonment sentence by an accountability court in the Al Azizia/ Hill Metal Establishment corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau in light of the top court’s Panamagate judgment.An apex court bench led by Chief Justice of Pakistan Azmat Saeed Khosa heard an appeal submitted by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris, seeking suspension of sentence for eight weeks on medical grounds.The bench granted a six-week suspension and allowed Nawaz to receive treatment from his personal physician but restricted him from travelling abroad.Dismissing reports that Nawaz had refused treatment in jail, Abbasi said the top court had acknowledged that the three-time premier neither refused treatment nor asked to be treated in London.

It is on record now that Nawaz never refused medical treatment nor did he seek to travel abroad. The SC observed that the doctors failed to concur on how and where Nawaz should be treated.”SC suspends Nawazs prison sentence on medical groundsHe blamed the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for creating a false perception that Nawaz had refused to be treated locally and wanted to travel abroad. “Nawaz was given relief by the top court.We are confident his appeal against the verdict will also be accepted.”He critcised the federal ministers for playing politics on a matter concerning a person’s health.

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Your weekend arts forecast: A feast for the eyes (and ears)

Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, A Feast For the Eyes: European Masterpieces From the Grasset Collection is an exhibition of 40 baroque-era oil paintings – brilliant, beautiful and lyrical works from the likes of 17th and 18th century masters van Dyck, Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder, de Velde and others.The masterworks are from the private collection of Juan Manuel Grasset, of Madrid, Spain. The 90-year-old art collector attended a media preview of the exhibition, accompanied by several members of the extended Grasset family, Thursday.His daughter Christina explained that the St. Pete visit is only the second time Grasset’s collection has gone on loan in the United States; indeed, it was previously at the San Diego Museum of Art,  in 2016.

Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Dutch, 1606-1683/4 Still Life of flowers in a glass vase in a stone niche, Oil on oak panel Christina Grasset detailed the collection’s backstory: “My father bought these paintings over the course of 50 years.I think there are four Spanish painters, but everything else is Dutch and Flemish. Or Italian.And so he would buy these paintings in London, or in Paris, and then bring them back to his home in Madrid.”Over the course of many years, she continued, “like any true collector, it’s very difficult for them to stop! They will see another painting, they fall in love, and they have to have it.
My parents have a fairly large home in Madrid, but we got to a point where the paintings were on the floor and stacked against the walls.“It took a very long time to convince him to part with the paintings, because they’re objects that he loves.

But we finally convinced him that they would be much better in a museum. And this is where the paintings look their best.”Frail and wheelchair-bound, but smiling and looking dapper nonetheless, Juan Manuel Grasset offered a quick compliment to the Museum of Fine Arts. “I think I never saw the collection as brilliantly displayed as it is here,” he said.The Grasset collection consists almost entirely of landscapes and still lifes of flowers, fruit bowls and laden banquet tables, along with other bounties. MFA Curator of Exhibitions and Collections Stanton Thomas asked Grasset about this.

“None of the grand traditions of Spanish portrait portraiture, or religious paintings or battle scenes appealed to him,” Thomas said. “He has almost no images of people.”Thomas – and others who’ve examined and thought deeply about the collection – developed a theory. “The thought is that these very beautiful, very lyrical, very escapist pictures might be a reflection of his youth, which was during a very difficult time,” the curator explained.“It was right after World War II, there wasn’t a lot around. These are kind of a reaction to the hardships of his youth.“There’s a beautiful logic to the paintings – people enjoying themselves out in the country, or beautiful flowers, or feasts. They would have been an enormous contrast to what people would have experienced in post-World War II Spain.”Juan Manuel Grasset, seated, talks with the media at the Museum of Fine Arts March 21. At far right is his daughter Christina.

Photo by Bill DeYoung.Thomas will conduct a Gallery Talk on the exhibition from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24.A Feast For the Eyes: European Masterpieces From the Grasset Collection will remain at the museum through July 28.And now, thisOf course, the 2nd annual St.Petersburg Tiny Home Festival is Saturday and Sunday. Everything you need to know is here.Brad PaisleyNice cross-section of popular music this weekend, including country legend Clint Black (tonight at the Mahaffey), Chicago (or what’s left of the band that was once the mighty Chicago) at Ruth Eckerd Hall tonight, and yet another country star, Brad Paisley (Valspar Live! at the Osprey Driving Range in Palm Harbor Saturday – details here).The Palladium’s got the Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Stomp Saturday (here’s what we wrote about it) and country’s Mickey Gilley Sunday.

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