In a first, Pakistani artist to participate in Venice Biennale

Published: February 19, 2019
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Artist Naiza Khan. PHOTO COURTESY: CARLOTTA CARDANA

Artist Naiza Khan. PHOTO COURTESY: CARLOTTA CARDANA

A Pakistani artist is all set to participate in the upcoming Venice Biennale 2019 for the first time in the country’s history.

Curated by Zahra Khan, the pavilion will feature works of Karachi- and London-based artist Naiza Khan who captures the experience of everyday life in Karachi, affected by natural disaster, urban migration and political struggle.

The exhibition will open on May 11 and runs through November 24 in Venice, Italy.

Artist Naiza Khan and curator Zahra Khan. PHOTO COURTESY: Carlotta Cardana

Artist Naiza Khan (left) and curator Zahra Khan. PHOTO COURTESY: CARLOTTA CARDANA

Naiza’s exhibition “Manora Field Notes” seeks to immerse visitors upon life on Manora Island, which the artist has spent investigating for the past 10 years. Her work will showcase paintings, sculptures and wall drawings with detailed research of the island and its history.

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The project will engage with multiple bodies of knowledge including archival material, documentation of ruined buildings and conversations with local communities.

Organised by Foundation Art Divvy, the pavilion at the Venice Biennale is supported by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

Naiza Khan, Building Terrain III, 2013, Gicl+¬e print, 93 x 129.5 cm. PHOTO COURTESY: Carlotta Cardana

Naiza Khan, Building Terrain III, 2013, Gicl+¬e print, 93 x 129.5 cm. PHOTO COURTESY: CARLOTTA CARDANA

“This is not only an opportunity to display Pakistani art on such a big platform of international level, but it is also an attempt to project a soft image of the country across the world,” said PNCA Director General Jamal Shah while speaking about the event.

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“Art is a universal language that leaves a deep impact on the minds of people through soft expressions of visual and performing art,” he said, adding, “Such opportunities must be utilised to tell the world about the artistic expressions being practised in this region which are contrary to extremism and terrorism.“

Naiza Khan, The Land Itself, 2014, Watercolour, 46 x 61cm. PHOTO COURTESY: Carlotta Cardana

Naiza Khan, The Land Itself, 2014, Watercolour, 46 x 61cm. PHOTO COURTESY: CARLOTTA CARDANA

The Venice Biennale is an arts organisation based in Venice that has been for over 120 years, one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world.

Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the art exhibition.

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