Karachi Biennale 2017 starts from Oct 21


KARACHI: First “Karachi Biennale 2017” is set to start on Saturday (October 21) at 5pm at the Narayan Jagannath Vaidya (NJV) High School, MA Jinnah Road, Karachi.

The two-week long programme includes exhibitions of art by over 140 national and international artists, educational art activities for school and college students and tours for general visitors introducing them to the works on display.

KB17 shall continue to run till Sunday, November 5, 2017.

Two prizes, the KB17 Juried Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation Art Prize and KB17 Shahneela and Farhan Faruqui Popular Choice Art Prize will acknowledge outstanding works at the Karachi Biennale.

The Biennale is Pakistan’s largest international contemporary art event aiming to bring together innovation, excellence and criticality through a multiplicity of curatorial strategies. Seeking to engage the community through art, the Biennale strengthens a global art exchange showcasing artists from Pakistan to the world.

The Karachi Biennale will focus on connecting art with the city and its people through the theme ‘Witness’. The Chief Curator of KB17 is Amin Gulgee.

KB17 is a project of the Karachi Biennale Trust set up by art professionals and educators. Key activities undertaken as a part of the Biennale (list attached), since the launch in March 2016, have included “Reel on Hai”, its public art work that has installed recycled cable reels transformed by artists in 20 locations, interdisciplinary roundtables, panel discussions and new media workshops by visiting artists for school and college students etc.

KB17 programme focuses on the curated exhibits 2017 with over 140 artists from all across the world including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Far East.

To help the audience get an insight into the work and expand interdisciplinary connections with Art, Karachi Biennale offers educational and discursive interaction to visitors.

The art exhibitions will take place at 12 venues from Karachi School of Art, the city’s longest running art school, to Frere Hall. It has five venues located on MA Jinnah Road, which was once the cultural core of the city.

A series of conversations and lectures across the two weeks of the event featuring Meher Afroz, Savita Apte , Saquib Hanif, Dr Marek Bartelik, Dr Marcella Sirhandi, Paolo De Grandis, Carlos Aceros Ruiz, Adriana Almada, and Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda, would be held at the ZVMG Rangoonwalla Community Centre and the State Bank Auditoriums.

Public events such as poetry and book reading on Karachi, spectacular performance and installation by Jamal Shah, sound and light Installations, and Dholi Taro (Drum Circle), at different public spaces in Karachi shall also be a part of the Biennale.

The Biennale’s significance for the city of Karachi is manifested in its concept of community engagement for Art. Being a city of twenty million, with shrinking public spaces, expanding polarisation and non-consultative and exclusionary development, Karachi is in dire need of efforts and spaces that facilitate participation, dialogue and creative exchange.

KB17’s two-week long, free public exhibition at 12 venues, is an occasion to participate in an aesthetic, intellectual, and emotional survey of the city. Our collective witnessing will disrupt the limits of our spatial imagination. KB17 is an occasion to revisit our histories, rethink our present, and re-imagine our future with greater optimism.








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