Year founded: 2015
Organiser: Karachi Biennale Trust


The Karachi Biennale (KB) is a visionary platform that focuses on innovation, excellence and criticality through curatorial strategies that will bring art from Pakistan and the rest of the world together for a large public audience.

Its discursive interventions aim to cross pollinate ideas and explore meaning and truth across disciplines and contexts.

Artists are invited to respond to the theme WITNESS. Art as a testament of its time has always held significance, particularly in times when memory is heavily contested. According to Kundera ‘The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memories against forgetting’. The theme Witness has been chosen for its strong relevance to politics of representation, erasure and selective documentation.

The main venue of KB is the 160 year old, NJV School building which is located within the historical precincts of one of the most populous cities of the world. This will give easy access to new audiences and also bring into discussion Karachi’s history, which has been often overshadowed by tensions of rapid growth.

Since the 1950s, as Karachi grew from a small harbour town to a mega urban centre. it has attracted independent thinkers. Unburdened by an established canon, it embraced artists who wanted to respond to the personal and the political with greater freedom.Karachi has been home to many influential Modernists and Contemporary artists; its gallery circuit is unrivalled in the country. and one of the most vibrant in South Asia.

With an architecture of exhibitions, discursive interventions and extensive visitor programs during the Karachi Biennale. Art in Karachi will combine creative energies and spark new ones.

The biennale brings together innovation, excellence and criticality through a multiplicity of curatorial strategies to showcase artists from Pakistan to the world as well as strengthen a regional art exchange. Pakistan has begun to feature prominently on the global map with many points of creative interest that have arisen with the international achievements of its artists These achievements reflect the depth and vitality of art production in the country that is garnering world attention.

The biennale will create opportunities to engage with the arts community of the city and beyond, through a holistic approach that will go beyond a lateral presentation of works; rather it will be an engagement in the process of being informed about the training and influences that provide content to artistic practices. A point of interest within this process will be to discover points of connectivity with regional practices through physical display and discourse.