MJSF Sponsors Pakistan Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2019

Recently, Pakistan sent its first ever entry to the Venice Biennale, which is a contemporary visual art exhibition held to connect people with art.

Nazia Khan, a multi-disciplinary artist, is showcasing her Manora Field Notes at the event.

Zahra Khan curated the Manora Field Notes pavilion. It was presented by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts and Foundation Art Divvy, alongside massive support from the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF).

The foundation is part of the JS Group and leads several multiple independent charitable organizations. MJSF was founded to fight the issues of poverty through sustainable development in the areas of Education, Disaster Relief, Healthcare, and Social Enterprise. Through these and other initiatives, MJSF aims to provide opportunities and support to empower disadvantaged members of society.

It was the leading sponsor for the first Karachi Biennale in 2017, which was the city’s biggest art event to date. The Biennale showcased art from across Pakistan and the rest of the world in exhibitions to art enthusiasts.

The Karachi Biennale was not their only contribution, however.  The foundation also sponsored Pakistan’s first-ever participation to the International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Nazia, showcasing her work, said,

Manora Field Notes shows a new body of work, including a sound piece, multi-screen video installation and series of cast brass objects, which examine the conflicting narratives surrounding this contested landscape.

She said that it was a crucial and much-needed step to increase support for arts in Pakistan.

I hope this entry will help pave way for further contributions by Pakistan to the Venice Biennale in the future and help boost the support and recognition for local art events in the country. There are many more untold stories waiting to be heard and more voices waiting in the wings.

The curator of the pavilion, Zahra Khan, pointed towards the theme of the Biennale; ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ which references the uncertainty in the modern age.

She added,

I am proud and honored that foundation art divvy’s latest endeavor, which focuses on bringing contemporary art from Pakistan to the public arena, is to organize and present Pakistan’s first foray at the Venice Biennale. Pakistan has a remarkable, vibrant art scene and it is extremely important that it is represented on the world stage, particularly at a prestigious forum like the Venice Biennale. This pavilion is an opportunity to present an entirely different side of Pakistan.

MJSF is a substantial grantee to Acumen, a leading global social organization and has now supported Pakistan’s pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia.

The foundation should be commended for their dedication to the people of Pakistan as this partnership has allowed a national artist to showcase her work on the international stage while on the other hand, it has connected audiences with Pakistan and its people, creating a positive image of the country.



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