SAARC Sculpture Symposium

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it” (Michelangelo)


Sculpture is an intricate branch of the visual arts and is a three – dimensional artform.  It is created in stone, metal, ceramics, woods, fibre and mixed media.  However, stone sculptures have survived the test of time along with metal and terracotta sculptures, which speak of history and of ancient cultures. With additive and subtractive processes as two basic techniques in sculpture, the South Asian art has reflected through the ages the cultural structure of beliefs, aesthetic preferences and social systems. The history of Asian art can be traced back to the ‘Indus Valley’ or ‘Harappan’ Civilization belonging to around 2300 B.C. in the present Pakistan. This ancient civilization on the banks of the river Indus has contributed to building cities which included making of roads, fire-burnt bricks, building public buildings, citadels and houses.  With expertise in pottery, terracotta figurines and jewellery making, the Indus Valley civilization has been the forerunner in contributing sculptures. The bronze image of the dancing girl of four inches in height exhibits a rare posture and movement with a prominent place in the history of sculpture, along with the bust from Mohenjo-Daro, the many terracotta toys, female figurines, torsos and pottery.

Proceeding through the artistic pages of history and the many contributions of the SAARC Member States to the development of the art of sculpture, the present symposium offers to open a dialogue between the sculptors and their art, creating a platform for interchanging of ideas, opinions and techniques. This symposium focuses on the creating of sculptures along with a workshop and discussion with experts in the field with interactive sessions.

Sculpture is one of the most enduring forms of fine art known to man and has played a major role in the evolution of cultures. The sculptors nominated from the SAARC Member States will work on sculptures based on the theme of ‘Sculpture Symposium – A Sojourn and Synergy’. Sculptures could be expressed as free-standing dimensional images, that give a 360-degree view to give a unique art experience, whilst high and low relief sculptural panels can add a narrative essence to the artistic expression. With the freedom to choose the medium of sculpture, the artists can find themselves involved in bringing to form sculptures based on the theme of ‘Synergy’, and altogether could add to the unity and sovereignty of oneness in diversity.


The SAARC Cultural Centre proposes for the SAARC Sculpture Symposium 2019 to be held for approximately four (4) days, in an accessible, vibrant and inspirational city in the host Member State of Pakistan.

  1. Working on site: The Artists will have an opportunity to work on site on the first and second day, and create one or two pieces of art (Sculptures) whilst focusing on the overall theme of ‘Synergy’.
  2. Interactive Workshop: Throughout the Sculpture Symposium, there will be an open forum for artists to interact with each other, observe and learn. It will also be an opportunity for tourists and the general public to talk to the Artists. On the third day of the Sculpture Symposium there will be an interactive workshop for the Sculptors to exchange ideas and further enhance the quality of work of Artists in the SAARC Region.
  3. A Piece of Artistic Unity: In addition, on the third day of the SAARC Sculpture Symposium, the Artists will be given time to work together on one joint piece of art, if possible with an equal contribution from each Member State. This will be a challenge for the Artists and will also encourage team work and leadership skills for the young sculptors of the Region. Adopting different forms, and working together with unifying and different shapes, sizes, combinations and creativity will be an unusual and unique experience and will be a highlight of the Sculpture Symposium. At the conclusion of the Programme, the final collaborative sculpture will have pride of place and be displayed in an appropriate manner at the SAARC Cultural Centre in Sri Lanka as a testament to the joint artistry of the Region.

All Member States are invited to nominate a maximum of four Artists. The Host Member State of Pakistan, is invited to nominate a maximum of ten Artists.

The Honoured Member States are respectfully requested to take into consideration the following guidelines when nominating Participants for this Programme:

  1. The nominated Artists to be prominent or upcoming Artists;
  2. With preferably a balance of gender amongst the nominated Artists, representing a combination of male and female Artists;
  3. The nominated Artists, if   possible, could represent diverse areas of the art of sculpture.


  1. The names of the nominated Artists, together with the relevant biographical information and contact details, must be sent to the SAARC Cultural Centre, through the relevant line Ministry concerned and the Foreign/External Affairs Ministries of the Member States, via the SAARC Secretariat, to reach the SAARC Cultural Centre.
  2. In addition, all Member States are kindly requested to forward the following biographical information of each nominated Artist, directly to the SAARC Cultural Centre.
    • Experience in the field of sculpture;
    • High resolution (minimum 300dpi) photograph of the Artist;
    • 3-5 high resolution (minimum 300 dpi) images of works produced by them;
    • Contact details of the Artist.

This information will be included in the official brochure, prepared for the Programme. Please forward this information to:
The Programme Assistant,
SAARC Cultural Centre, No. 224, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07,
Sri Lanka.


  1. As per SAARC practice, all airfare of the nominated Artists should be borne by the nominating Member State;
  2. All local hospitality including accommodation, meals and local transfers, will be provided by the SAARC Cultural Centre, for the officially nominated participants from the honoured Member States, for the official duration of the Programme;
  3. General materials, such as clay, plaster, wood, stone, fibre or mixed media will be provided by the SAARC Cultural Centre. However, the nominated Artists are encouraged to bring any relevant specific tools and specialist materials that they may require for use during the course of the SAARC Sculpture Symposium 2019.

The SAARC Sculpture Symposium 2019 will take place at a suitable location, as recommended by the Host Member State.

25th – 30th of November 2019