Rabeya Jalil (b. 1984) is an art educator and visual artist based in Lahore. She did her undergradu-ate studies in Fine Art from the National College of Arts (NCA), Lahore in 2005 and her Masters in Art and Art Education (Ed.M.) from Columbia University, Teachers College, New York, on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2013.
Her art education practice involves working with school art teachers, children with special needs, and individuals from low-income families and culturally diverse populations. She collaborates with children (through Bachon se Tabdeeli, an art education initiative) to explore their creative expres-sion and suggest curricular intervention through the arts. In the last four years, she has worked with a grant award from the HEC (Higher Education Commission, Pakistan), a US State Grant for Bacho se Tabdeeli, an ITA/ USAID grant for Mapping Migrations, the Prince Claus award of the Netherlands for Bacho se Tabdeeli, the Centre for Culture and Development (CKU) Danish grant for Stories We Tell and on a US (PUAN) grant on a curriculum development project with a special education government school for blind girls.
Jalil has presented at (Art Education and Printmaking) conferences in Lahore, Islamabad, New York, Fort Worth (Texas), San Diego, Chicago, St. Louis (Missouri) and Istanbul, and has exhibited her work in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, U. A. E., U.S.A, Spain, Portugal and India.
Currently, Jalil is an Assistant Professor at the Beaconhouse National University, School of Visual Arts and Design (BNU-SVAD) in Lahore and the Program Head of the MA Art Education Program at BNU-SVAD. Before this, she was working in Karachi with the Indus Valley School of Art and Archi-tecture in the Department of Fine Art (2007-2015).ARTIST STATEMENT
My work is statement-less
Read what you see
See what you read
Heraa Khan (b. 1989) is a contemporary visual artist and art instructor from Lahore, Pakistan. She has conducted classes on miniature painting in New York and Texas, USA and has taught a course on miniature painting at the International Summer Academy of Salzburg, Austria.
After being awarded a scholarship, Khan completed her Bachelors in Fine arts at National College of Arts (NCA) in 2012, specializing in miniature painting. She has had several solo exhibitions and has participated in significant group shows, nationally and internationally. She received the Ruth Katzman scholarship for a residency at the Art Student's League Residency at Vyt, NY, USA and was awarded a residency at the Bone Black Gallery, Texas, USA in 2016.ARTIST STATEMENT
Heraa Khan’s collection is a rich and lavish portrayal of luxury defined by an underlying conscious-ness of redundancy of such a lifestyle. In her work the vulnerability and fragility of life is glossed over by a veneer of exaggerated, narcissistic pampering of self.
Using bright colors, patterns and different postures, Khan weaves bubbled life into the paintings through a play of mediums. Her work portrays a humorous and empathetic way of expression. In the painting entitled “Bridge” the figures come across as strong metaphors of the artist’s consciousness. The dominant gold is accentuated by a halo of delicate floral pattern in a fine blend of color.
Specializing in the traditional techniques of Mughal and Persian miniature painting Khan uses natu-ral pigments, kalam and wasli. The kalam is a handcrafted brush that the painter assembles herself for fine pardakht and Wasli paper another handcrafted essential used as the surface. 24K gold leaf is improvised to serve as a medium that connects the gilded extravaganza of the metal with the lavish lifestyle.
Veera Rustomji (b. 1992) is a visual artist and writer based in Karachi, Pakistan. She graduated in 2015 from the Department of Fine Art of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. A recipient of the Rangoonwala Trust Academic Scholarship, she continues to conduct research for her practice that is driven by her interest in the parallel dialogues of migration and heritage. At present, she is work-ing as an assistant coordinator for Vasl Artists’ Association and pursues freelance writing with numer-ous publications. Veera has displayed her work within Pakistan and was an artist in residence for the 2017 Murree Museum Artists' Residency.Practice:
With an interest in archiving and documenting information around the Parsi community of Karachi, my practice has developed from utilizing personal family documents and photographs to creating my own documentation of the engulfing city of Karachi. I find it increasingly interestingly how minority communities are heavily reliant on oral mythologies and how family documents are a source of chronological history and religious values. Hence, much of my research draws parallels with the city of Karachi and its rapid urbanization which inevitably eradicates past connections and narratives that are embedded in tangible and intangible forms within the fabric of the landscape and environment.
Much of my process is through the lens of my camera as I pedantically photograph and film aspects of the city and its’ residents which stir my curiosity. Through my work I try to look and question our notion of history and culture; what are the aspirations of societies which range from upper economic to lesser privileged stratas? How does our sense of environment, architecture and the use of vernacu-lar reflect family values and our notions of success? And, more recently, what are the repercussions for an increasingly polarized city where the documentation of heritage is sparse and limited?ARTIST STATEMENT
The clattering of Mahjong tiles echoes in my ears. The soft but firm green sued lining of the table has just been brushed and cleaned by the ayah. I’m in the kitchen and I turn to my grandmother one last time before I’m pushed out into the living room, “Please don’t make me hold the tray of glasses” I begged, “It’s too heavy for me.” Of course, my whining does not get me anywhere and while I count every footstep I somehow make it to the war zone. With their perfectly filed nails, they assemble the mahjong tiles over batasas and tea, strategically distracting one another in hopes of veering the game towards their favour. It’s only 4:00 pm – the day is young and my nightmare has only just begun.
Mohsin Shafi (b. 1982) is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. He re-ceived his BFA (2007) and his MVA (2011) from the National College of Arts, Lahore, where he con-tinues to teach. Shafi has showcased his work at prominent galleries in Pakistan as well as in interna-tional exhibitions. He was part of the Vasl Artists residency in 2010 in Karachi, Pakistan and was an artist in residence at the Rondo Studios in Graz, Austria in 2012. Besides being included in significant collections in Pakistan, his work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Sacred Art in Bel-gium and been recently acquired for the permanent collection of the Department of Book Art at Mills College, San Francisco. His work has been discussed in local and international newspapers and publi-cations. His images have also been used as covers for books by Agnar Artúvertin, Martin Walser, and Gabriel Rosenstock, as well as other writers and poets. Among prominent practice/achievements Mohsin is an active member of the ‘Awami Art Collective’, which is a unique group of artists and activists intervening the public space in Pakistan for the cause of peaceful co-existence and celebration of diversity.ARTIST STATEMENT
I exploit my unadulterated access to the deepest emotions embedded beneath the surface, only to explore the whispered secrets of dreams and long buried memories. This is my burden, my struggle constant, in hopes to validate the “I”
I question the blurred edges between identity and the intentions of identity. Attempting to capture what I see and record their frail existence, only to return and relive. Hoping to make the viewer see reality through the fiction of my eyes. Where nothing is as it is and everything is as it isn’t.
The visual metaphors combine realistic portrayals of ordinary events with elements of myth, to allow myself the luxury of a disconnection from the fallacies of truth. Hoping to record the naked and defenseless ideas of the subconscious mind, somewhere between dreams and their documenta-tion. I use the worn, the used, the almost invisible. These small, unique, yet ordinary things. I there-fore investigate the dark recesses of the relevant human psyche, to explore a reality of ghouls and monsters. This i assume to be an effort to recreate my world, in my image.
It is the idea of the abnormal that fascinates me and perhaps therefore the preoccupation with nar-cotics and the dangerous pursuit of chemical dreaming.
The work is based on personal snapshots, images from old compendium and notebooks. These are in my opinion, disturbing interpretations of familiar subjects, slumbering histories and buried traumas. Through a play with an existing library of image and text, I attempt to communicate multi-ple interpretations of the one true meaning. And perhaps in doing so, pose more questions than an-swers. These perceived images hence become facets of my current persona, both real and imagined.
These are the spaces between translation and interpretation where confusion happens and things are forgotten and remembered as stories change. We keep being born, we keep dying, with a mechanical predictability, an insistent return. Does this accumulate towards a greater ideological evolution or just a weak existence on repeat? After all, we are the reaps of our early experiences. “I” certainly “am”.
Saba Khan (b. 1982) completed her BFA from National College of Arts (2005), with a Distinction and MFA from Boston University, (2010), on Fulbright Scholarship. Residencies attended include: Civitella Ranieri Foundation, UNESCO Aschberg Bursary, Italy; SEHER, Jaisalmer, India; Vermont Studio Center, USA; Indus Valley School, Karachi, Pakistan; 11th Gwangju Biennale International Curator Course, South Korea. She was a juror for UNESCO Aschberg Bursary. Solo shows: Canvas Art Gallery, Karachi; Rohtas 2, Taseer Gallery, Lahore. Group shows: Monitor 4, SAVAC, Toronto; Kara Film Festival, Karachi; Inter-national Art Festival, Kathmandu; Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai; Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Thai-land; Affordable Art Fair, New York; India Art Fair; Aicon Gallery, New York. Shortlisted for The Future Generation Art Prize, Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Published in n.paradoxa International Feminist Art Journal, Tran-Asia; The Eye Still Seeks by Salima Hashmi. She lives in Lahore and teaches at the National College of Arts and founded Murree Museum Artists’ Residency, Murree, an artist-led initiative to support artists/writers, in 2014.
Khan’s work is pumped with humour and satire; it looks at the class divides through layers of local aes-thetics. Glitter, paint and crystals are used as tropes to comment on the emerging affluent-class, along with the ‘bad-tastes’ exhibited through religious ceremonies, homes and the bazaar. The works also make acerbic commentary on political and social conditions with inside-jokes and symbols while not preaching on a particular stance.ARTIST STATEMENT
The female body becomes territorialized during war, civic unrest, in the public space and in the work-space; territories traditionally marked as the male domain. While we women step outside, fric-tion/resistance between the genders prevails. Where women’s bodies are violated, damaged and en-croached. The works look at silenced stories, silenced harassment and silenced witnessing that are fearfully not exchanged, becoming coded messages to save face, a cry for help and also to uncover dusted problems. While in conversation and recording my grand-aunt’s Partition experiences, she disclosed harrowing tales that she had silenced herself from for 70 years, where the woman’s body also becomes collateral damage and source of pleasure during communal riots.