The third iteration of the Karachi Biennale (KB) is set to take place between October 31 and November 13 across nine venues in Karachi with artists exhibiting works under the theme “Collective Imagination: Now and After” which will explore integration increasing technology with art.
KB is Pakistan’s largest international contemporary art event held every two years in Karachi. The event was supposed to take place last year, but was postponed due to the pandemic.
This year‘s theme is particularly aimed at young people and the program will present works of art throughout the city, bringing together students, art professionals, philanthropists, companies and the general public.
This year, the participating countries are Germany, USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, UK, Singapore, Brazil, Switzerland and Spain.
Among the participating artists this year are Amin Gulgee, Rashid Rana, Imran Qureshi and Shezad Dawood.
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The nine venues featuring works of art will include IBA City Campus, VM Art Gallery, IVS Art Gallery, Alliance Française, Hamid Market, among others.
“KB will explore a collection of rich historical and cultural sites that engage with the public as host venues for the exhibitions,” organizers said in a communication about the event.
“The third Karachi Biennale is where dynamic links are forged between art and technology on a scale never before seen in Pakistan. We hope this synergy will inspire young people and give them new ideas,” said Karachi Biennale CEO Nilofer Farrukh. company registrar.
The theme of KB22 was born as a natural progression from the first two Biennials.
Shifting from traditional canvases and paintings, KB began receiving a handful of digital works, videos, virtual reality, and more, Farrukh said.
“At that time, few artists were integrating technology into their works, and KB had to look internationally for someone to provide direction and that’s how they came across the curator of the iteration of this year, Faisal Anwar, who is a hybrid artist.”
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Anwar’s Curator’s Note states, “Karachi, like other major emerging cosmopolitan cities around the world, is on the cusp of the digital revolution, increasingly generating, connecting and speaking in the language of digital data. As a city with one of the largest and most diverse populations in the world, and being the economic, philanthropic and educational capital of Pakistan.
KB also seeks to strengthen local artistic fraternity by creating a framework for local artists to integrate more technology into their works. Amin Gulgee, for example, is one of those artists who already does quite a bit of hybrid work.
“The exciting art of 25 Pakistani and international artists has the potential to raise awareness among visitors of the immense possibilities technology has to offer and remind innovators to dream of being more than just consumers,” Farrukh added.
“Unexpectedly, when Covid-19 arrived, the world still turned to technology, which was wonderful, especially young people, and artists this year explored how to use technology in different ways”, she continued.
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The first Biennale in the world was held in Venice in 1895, with the aim of promoting socio-economic development. Currently, several hundred biennials are taking place around the world, attracting thousands of visitors.
The theme for 2017, the first ever KB, was “Witness” which brought together 182 local and international artists in 19 locations to explore the history and narrative of the city. The second biennial, in 2019, focused on the devastating “footprint of development” on ecology and brought together 98 local and international artists in 7 venues across the city.
The Karachi Biennale was born out of the idea of focusing on connecting art with the city and its people by showcasing the work of some of the world’s greatest artists. Each biennale revolves around a theme rooted in the host city, but of international relevance.
The Karachi Biennale is a flagship project of the Karachi Biennale Trust (KBT), which was established in 2016 by art professionals, educators and the corporate sector.