As part of it’s dialogue series, ADA held the book launch for “Message Sent: The Life and Works of Adil Salahuddin”. Salahuddin is an acclaimed Pakistani Postage Stamp Designer with over 2000 stamp designs to his name. He studied miniature painting at NCA and was employed by the Pakistan Security Printing Press between 1967 and 2002. Salahuddin has been received many award forhis contibutions including a gold medal at the exhibition, ECOPHILEX ‘86, the President’s Pride of Performance, and the Sitara-i-Imtiaz. It comes as no surprise then that a book about his work would be published in his lifetime.
Compiled by British-Pakistani author Arshi Ahmad-Aziz, the book provides a detailed account of Salahuddin’s educational background, artistic molding, and graduation from an artist to a stamp designer. Included in the book are collages and sketches of the numerous stamps he designed over his 37-year long career with the Pakistan Security Printing Corporation (PSPC).
The event took place on Friday 9th August, 2019 (6:30pm) at the Alliance Francaise Karachi(AFK). The evening began with an address by Bina Shah, President of AFK’s Executive Committee. Following this, event organisers Maria Aslam and Ruqayya Rizwan addressed the audience and introduced a short video with interviews of Mr. Salahuddin, the Author, and the panelists. Following this Arshi Ahmad-Aziz spoke about the Research and Compilation on the book. “The age of letter writing is a time long gone” said Ahmad ”letters from home were always special, and though our focus was primarily the content of the letter, a close second was the stamp, that tiny piece of art in the corner, letting us know where it was from and how much it cost to get to us”. The author explained that stamps are one the most important resources when learning about a country and its people. They represent a country iconographically, they feature it’s artistic heritage and scenic beauty, its history, flora, fauna, politics, science and much more.
The process of planning this book began in 1994 when the author had just moved back to Pakistan, it began with the idea of doing a generic book on the history of postage stamps in Pakistan and to include the works of all the stamp designers of Pakistan and evolved into a more focused look at the works of Adil Salahuddin. Primary research for the book included interviews with Adil Salahuddin as well as other notable individuals in the world of stamps and postage. Secondary sources included Pakistan’s archives and leaflets of printed with each series of commemorative stamps. The author also spoke briefly about the structure of the book of the history of postage and stamps in Pakistan since partition.
Following this was a panel discussion with speakers who added to the conversation surrounding preservation, history and the Pakistan post. Among them were: Mr. Salahudin who spoke on the design and printing of tamps, Mr. Iqbal Nanji, President of the Pakistan Philately Society, Mr. Akbar Dero, Post Master General, Dr. Kaleemullah Lashari, and Dr. Asma Ibrahim, Director State Bank Museum & Art Gallery.
The event concluded with a book signing with Arshi Ahmed and Adil Salahudin. Prestigious guests included the French and German Consul Generals, academics, designers, architects and stalwarts of the creative community.