Pakistan will officially participate in the Venice Biennale for the first time this year, with a solo exhibition by the multi-disciplinary artist Naiza Khan. The exhibition, Manora Field Notes, will explore contemporary life on Manora Island, which lies south of the port city of Karachi and is described as representing a picture of Pakistan in microcosm.
Khan, who was trained in the UK and is based between London and Karachi, produces paintings, drawings and mixed-media pieces that examine how specific places in Pakistan are evolving, within the context of wider issues affecting the Global South. The artist says the Venice presentation is the culmination of several years of exploration and research and that the work can be situated “within a larger conversation that links Venice to the Persian-Indian-Arab peninsulas through histories of empire and maritime trade.”
The project’s curator, Zahra Khan (no relation to the artist), says that Naiza Khan is the ideal artist to represent Pakistan on a global stage and that the exhibition will bring “to life the unique nautical, multicultural and multireligious history of Manora Island.”
Manora Field Notes is supported by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and is organised by Foundation Art Divvy, which is focused on showcasing contemporary art from Pakistan. The exhibition will be shown at Tanarte/Spazio Tana, close to the Arsenale.