Karachi is introducing its very first biennale held under the Karachi Biennale Trust which shall hold a series of art events, projects and public dialogues in October and November this year. The official launch presided by one of the country’s most deeply respected art critics Niilofur Farrukh took place January 28 in the historical Frere Hall, Karachi, acting as a catalyst to the upcoming exciting events later this year.

The Karachi Biennale Team

With Witness as the theme, the biennale will be a rich source of art projects and exhibitions which will be held in different locations throughout the city. Its main location will be the NJV school building located at M.A. Jinnah road where the public will have access to the dialogue and the exhibits revolving around the interpretative theme. Artists are welcome to join and contribute with their creative works and statements for the multiple projects which are hosted by the Karachi Biennale. “The curated exhibitions will acknowledge the exceptional talent of Pakistani artists that have won global accolades and show it alongside some of the most innovative contemporary art from other countries”, says Farrukh who is also the CEO and the Managing Trustee for the biennale. At the launch, the trustees of the KBT spoke about how diverse art curated through this biennale will aim to put the Pakistani artistic talent on the global map.

The launch also saw excellent performance art by dedicated artists who acted out their pieces for two solid hours. Joshinder Chaggar was simply marvelous with her sensuous and nostalgic “Autumn Leaves” as was Sara Pagganwala with her meditative performance “Skinned” which incorporated use of lights and colors. Salman and SM Raza are also noteworthy in this regard with their performance with clay, water and pigment. Benish Mahmood’s very interesting “Forget Me Not, Basheereya” video art was a wide collection of photographs and newspaper clippings belonging to the rich artistic era of Moen Akhtar, Muhammad Ali and Haseena Moen. Muhammad Ali also performed his piece called “Kniticism”.

Performance and Video by Muhammad Ali and Benish Mahmood respectively
Joshinder Chaggar with the two hour “Autumn Leaves”
Sara Pagganwala performs “Skinned”
A Two Hour Performance by Salman and SM Raza
Audiences and Media Personnel

The Chief Curator for the biennale is one of the country’s most innovative and widely acknowledged artists and sculptors Amin Gulgee. With this very well received launch, we can expect interesting and engaging art exhibitions and dialogues-both personal and political- by our enthusiastic artists to be part of a historical biennale this year.

Photo Credits: Jamal Ashiqain



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