Biennale, Italian for “biennial” or “every other year”, is any event that happens every two years. Biennales provide contemporary artists with a large audience and an opportunity to exhibit and develop work on an international scale. Biennales are significant as they shift the focus of art from major art centres and galleries to other site specific locations within a city, allowing them to become important sources of cultural pride. Our February 2017 issue is dedicated to the upcoming Lahore Biennale featuring a profile on Osman Khalid Waheed, Founding Chairman of Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) and all around art lover and patron. Writer Natasha Jozi interviews Rashid Rana, Artistic Director and Founding member LBF. Rana is a leading name among the young-generation artists on the contemporary art scene. He is known to develop a conceptually driven, well-informed art practice and will be the driving force behind the Biennale. At a press conference Rana elaborated “The object is to produce something that has local and global relevance.”
The Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) founded in 2015 has spent the past two years actively supporting art related projects across Pakistan aiming at holding their first biennale in 2018. The LBF focuses on experimentation, research, conversation and publication related to the arts; collaborative outreach and learning opportunities; and cultural exchange, including facilitating artist residencies. Goethe-Institut Pakistan, in collaboration with the Lahore Biennale Foundation and VASL, Karachi, recently presented its year-long project Urbanities – Art and Public Space in Pakistan. A critical exploration of urban space, its complexities and possibilities, with special reference to Pakistan’s controversial and contested urban space, the project brought together a global consort of academics, artists and creative practitioners in a series of stimulating events that included artist residencies, exhibitions, talks and workshops.
Simultaneously, Karachi continues to provide us with enriching art exhibitions and cultural programmes. Taking place currently is the 3rd Sanat Artists Residency featuring Ahmed Javed, Arslan Farooqi, Jovi Alvares- recipient of the Imran Mir Art Prize, Noman Siddiqui, Qadir Jhatial, Razin Rubin and Haider Ali.
Vasl Artists’ Collective and Heinrich Boll Foundation have issued an open call to Afghani and Pakistani artists to apply for their April-May 2017 residency based on Social Sculpture as part of the Regional Green Dialogues. The form can be accessed through their website: http://www.vaslart.org/
Ester Svensson Ali has been selected for the Vasl Artists’ Collective fellowship in collaboration Gasworks International Fellowships Programme. The project has been supported by Triangle Network, Arts Council England and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
Canvas gallery showcased artist Abdullah Syed’s new series of artwork which investigates ideas of memory, intimacy, gender role attitudes and migration in a complex narrative that weaves together the personal, the familial and the historical.
Last month FOMMA Trust welcomed Director/CEO Henry S.Kim of the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto to the FOMMA DHA Art Centre. Mr. Kim presented a slideshow on The Aga Khan Museum and went on to explain its purpose as a museum of Islamic art, Iranian (Persian) art and Muslim culture in Toronto and highlighted the importance of the buildings architecture in reference to Islamic design and patterns. The museum was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki. The 10,000 square-metre structure is set within formal gardens and surrounded by a large park (Aga Khan Park) designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic. The extensive site is shared with a new Ismaili Centre designed by the Indian architect Charles Correa Maki, Djurovic and Correa worked in collaboration with the Toronto-based architectural firm Moriyama and Teshima, who worked as the architect of record on the project.
Mr.Kim went on to elaborate on the temporary exhibition The Garden of Ideas: Contemporary Art from Pakistan, featuring the work of six internationally acclaimed Pakistani artists: Bani Abidi, Nurjahan Akhlaq, David Chalmers Alesworth, Aisha Khalid, Atif Khan, and Imran Qureshi. Through diverse media – including film, textiles, painting, site-specific installations, and photography – these artists explored the theme of the garden, which has long held significance in Muslim civilisations.
The event was attended by important members of FOMMA Trust’s Board of Trustees including Chairman Zulfiqar Lakhani, artists, art critics, writers, diplomatic community and friends from within the Aga Khan community.
The German Consulate Karachi held a comic exhibition/launch at FOMMA DHA Art Centre titled ‘Do It-Chances for Your Future’. The comic book was the culmination of a workshop held with Karachi University, Karachi School of Arts and Indus Valley school of Art and Architecture under the guidance of Kalus D.Schleiter.I would like to congratulate Consul General Rainer Schmiedchen, his team and the curator Haajra Haider for a brilliant and first of its kind project.
The Murree Museum Residency announced their upcoming Water Project – Summer Residency 2017. The artists in residence are Damien Zhg, Fazal Rizvi, Julius John Alam and Veera Rustomji. The Murree Museum Residency aims to establish interdisciplinary pathways to the collection, documentation and curation of history pertaining to its location.
Another exciting project in the works is the Karachi Art Summit which will take place sometime in March 2017. We, at ArtNow will continue updating you on all the happenings around the country and more! So follow us and sign up for our newsletter on our website www.artnowpakistan.com.
Bye for NOW.