HBL & Chawkandi Art Gallery celebrate Pakistan’s flagship artist!



Chawkandi Art Gallery with the support of HBL is currently celebrating 28 years of Aisha Khalid’s career with a large-scale retrospective exhibition. Organized by Masuma Halai Khwaja, I AM AND I AM NOT spans three decades, exploring the art of one of Pakistan’s greatest artists.

A twenty-eight year practice, which begins with his formative years in art school until today, more precisely from 1994 to 2021, with works in the exhibition that allude to the future, while Khalid’s art continues to evolve. A remarkable journey, as much on his life and his loves, as born from the socio-political context, in which his work is solidly anchored, the exhibition of seventy works, is spread over three places, from the emblematic Frere Hall to the Chawkandi Art Gallery and the AAN Gandhara Museum and Art Space.

As a leading artist, educator, agronomist and curator, Aisha Khalid effortlessly grew to become one of the most important artists of her time. Since the 1990s, Khalid has played a pivotal role in the contemporary neo-miniature movement, redefining miniature painting in Pakistan and its reception around the world. Create dramatic amalgamations of patterns and geometry that form a field of inquiry that concerns power dynamics, in particular the North-South divide, as much as spiritual connections.

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Aisha Khalid: Making a huge contribution to Pakistani art

Growing up in Shikarpur, inside Sindh, Khalid’s worldview is deeply rooted in the history of the East. Indebted to the ancient vocabulary of Mughal Miniature, Khalid has extended the medium to video, site-specific installation and immersive textile works that offer a critique of world politics and Orientalism, and for this Khalid’s contribution to contemporary and Pakistani miniature paintings. art is immeasurable.

Having received her formal training as a miniature painter from the National College of Arts in Lahore, she very quickly sought to push the boundaries of the traditional practice of miniature painting beyond its obvious limits of scale and two-dimensionality, to include the elements. physical and ephemeral ‘space’, ‘time’ and ‘sound’ at his work. As Khalid challenges pre-existing cultural and political frameworks, encouraging the public to reconsider ideals. His distinct imagery and visual vocabulary emerge from his own environment, influences and childhood memories.

She completed her postgraduate studies at the Rijksakademie Amsterdam in 2002. Khalid has subsequently participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the commissioning and acquisition project for the King Abdul Aziz Center, Ithra, Saudi Arabia, APT Asia-Pacific Triennale 2018 Queensland, Lahore Biennale 2018, SMK National Art Gallery / Museum 2016 Copenhagen, Aga Khan Museum 2014 Toronto, Moscow Biennale 2013, Sharjah Biennale 2011, Venice Biennale 2009, Fukuoka Triennale 2001, Bag-e-Babur 2008 Kabul and London, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, the Royal Academy and the Modern Art Museum in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

More recently, in 2018, Khalid was commissioned to paint a large mural, “You are the universe in ecstatic motion”, for Islamabad International Airport, located in the departures lounge. His work, including a series of commissions, is included in a number of major museums and private collections around the world.

Aisha Khalid’s retrospective titled “I Am And I Am Not” is intended to draw inspiration from her major works of art, starting with small-scale paintings, large-scale installations, textile-based tapestries , video pieces, art books and more recent works. Because the retrospective offers the opportunity to examine the multidisciplinary approach of one of Pakistan’s most famous contemporary artists.

Engaged in an art as determined as it is poignant, because it is determined, not only as an artist but as an intellectual, with the creativity and courage to influence and inform the processes of reflection, so that the public can absorb and appreciate the oriental perspectives.

This large retrospective exhibition of Aisha Khalid I AM AND I AM NOT is accompanied by a catalog.

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Chawkandi Art Gallery promotes local artists

Founded in eighty-five, the founder of the Chawkandi Art Gallery, Zohra Husain was a pioneer in the exercise of the Pakistani art vision. This is Aisha Khalid’s first retrospective exhibition I AM AND I AM NOT, curated by gallery director Haider Husain.

Promoting the work of established and emerging artists, Chawkandi has built a reputation based on an appreciation of the arts, as one of its leading gallery owners in Pakistan. Many artists presented by Chawkandi have become important on the national and international art scene.

The current gallery represents and presents the works of Zarina Hashmi, Zahoor Ul Aklaq and Shahid Sajjad, three of the most influential artists of our time. Sajjad’s 1994 personal woodcarving exhibition titled “My Primitives” was considered a milestone and hailed as “the exhibition of the decade”.

Chawkandi, with its many documentary resources, has digitized and archived its database over the years, making it easily accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

HBL: patron of art in Pakistan

HBL as an institution is part of the Pakistani fabric. As the oldest and largest bank in the country, the bank remains committed to nation building. Art is a phenomenon that plays a vital role in the lives of people, its impact on society and its influence on the shaping of civilizations. It is incumbent on societies to recognize the immense value of the arts and the need to honor and encourage artists. This is where the essential role of the patron comes in. Patrons become facilitators for artists to grow and develop.

As a Patron of Art in Pakistan, HBL is committed to encouraging more opportunities for public engagement with art, as well as celebrating the outstanding artists the country has produced. HBL is very proud to have sponsored Aisha Khalid’s major retrospective exhibition I AM AND I AM NOT at Frere Hall, Karachi.

Several works by Aisha Khalid from the HBL Art collection will be exhibited during the retrospective. The works in the HBL Art collection cover the practice of Aisha Khalid from 2012 to 2021.

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