Lines in the Sand | Contemporary Art from Pakistan
White Turban Art Consultancy collaborated with Luciano Benetton Foundation to work on the Imago Mundi Project Pakistan, along with project manager/curator Amanullah Mojadidi. Imago Mundi is the collection of works commissioned and collected from established and emerging artists from many different countries. The social ambition of Imago Mundi is to promote knowledge and awareness of art and, through this art, of the world. This project has taken place in 80 countries so far and last year after cataloguing works from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it was obvious to explore artists from an important region in South Asia: Pakistan. As Mojadidi in his curatorial note titled Lines in the Sand states:
A history rich not only in its ebb and flow through time, from the days of the Indus Valley Civilization, through its various incarnations beneath multiple colonial powers with their arbitrary drawing of lines in the sand to consolidate their own power, and on to the hope-filled yet ultimately violent formation of an independent state in 1947, Pakistan is also the historical owner of an artistic and cultural tradition that continues to shine in South Asia today.
Contemporary Art from Pakistan has earned its place in the global stage, with spotlight on bigger names. This project has been an opportunity for 210 artists of maybe less global cache, but who are likewise producing some of the most interesting work coming out of Pakistan today. The Imago Mundi project has allowed us to find these artists and provide them a platform through which to share their concepts and works with a global audience.
Each artist was provided with a 10 x 12 cm canvas that was to be painted in their own language, with no restriction on medium, concept but an expression that described their art practice best. The works wait to be displayed on a wall that will be exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2017, in the Foundations own pavilion. Along with this a book will be published by the Foundation with photograph of each artists’ work and their information that has been catalogued in the last few months, translated in Urdu, Italian and English. Participating artists and other art institutions will each receive a copy of the book and its e-copy will be visible on the Imago Mundi website.
Receiving 210 canvases from artists in diaspora and locally, the similarities in the images help in tracking the elements of the current art movements. Mojadidi best concludes his statement with,
It is through this nationally representative collection that Imago Mundi can contribute to Pakistan moving beyond its turbulent history, navigating through its unstable present, and building a true national identity through the arts that will help shape its creative future. By doing so, the lines drawn in the sand so many years ago by others are metaphorically redrawn by Pakistanis themselves so as to reflect and represent Pakistan’s creative potential, and its own understanding of its place in the world.