Locating Word

Art Writers’ Residency

January 4 – January 12, 2020

with Quddus Mirza (mentor), Rabia S. Akhtar, Sanié Bokhari & Syed Hasnain Nawab

Vasl Artists’ Association commenced its first residency program of the year, ‘Locating Word’. Locating Word consisted of three art writers, Rabia S. Akhtar, Sanié Bokhari and Syed Hasnain Nawab, mentored by Quddus Mirza.
This residency was introduced to give importance to art writing as well as paving a path for the writers to explore art writing in a different perspective. During the residency, the writers were given written reviews of Mughal miniature paintings where Mirza linked history to art writing. He had also taken the residents to art exhibitions at Koel Gallery, Mohatta Palace, the Jamil Naqsh Museum and at Canvas Gallery. Each resident was given the task to focus their practice on one particular exhibition and to draw comparisons of their personal practice to these exhibitions in text. The residency ended with an artist talk by Quddus Mirza and the residents, where they discussed the work they had produced and shared their experiences during this residency.

Quddus Mirza

Quddus Mirza is an artist, art critic and independent curator. He is the Head of Fine Arts Department at the National College of Arts Lahore, where he studied BFA, before acquiring MA (Painting) from the Royal College of Art, London. Mirza has shown extensively in numerous important group exhibitions, along with several one-person exhibitions, held in Pakistan and UK. He has also curated a number of exhibitions; including “Trade Union” and “Take Away’ at Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery, NCA and “One to One” at Alhamra Art Gallery Lahore. His other exhibitions include “Celebrating Art” and “Love” at National Art Gallery, Islamabad, “Beyond Borders: Art from Pakistan” at National Gallery of Modern Art in Mumbai, India, and “Exotic Bodies”, based on the miniature paintings from the collection of Victoria and Albert Museum, that was displayed at Preston Museum in UK. Mirza is an art critic with a regular weekly column appearing in Pakistan’s major newspaper, ‘The News’, and regular column on art Letter from Pakistan in ‘Art India’ and in ‘Depart’ (Bangladesh) as well as contributing to other publications like ‘Dawn’, ‘Herald’, ‘Himal’, ‘Libas’, ‘Contemporary’ and ‘Flash Art’. He is the co-author of book “50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan” and has extensively written essays on Pakistani art in different international catalogues and other publications. He is also the editor of online magazine ‘ArtNow Pakistan’.

Rabia S. Akhtar

Rabia S. Akhtar is a Karachi based visual artist and writer. She received her BFA from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2015, majoring in traditional Miniature painting. Rabia has showcased her work locally and internationally. In 2018, she was selected to participate in the Valletta 2018 artist residency in Gozo, Malta, where her collaborative work was recognised as one of the ten strongest projects of the program, and was displayed in a group show at Spazju Kreattiv, the national centre for creativity in Valletta, Malta. Rabia has written a children’s book which will be published through Oxford University Press, Pakistan, later in 2020.She has also produced content for various platforms, including ArtNow Pakistan and the Karachi Biennale Trust.

Sanié Shoaib Bokhari

Sanié Shoaib Bokhari was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She completed a Bachelor’s in Painting from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2014, and an MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. Bokhari was the recipient of the President’s Scholarship at RISD, and also worked at the RISD museum as an assistant to the Contemporary art curator. She served as a lecturer at the National College of Arts in Lahore from 2014-2016. Bokhari has also exhibited her work in numerous group shows in Pakistan and the US, including Canvas Gallery in Karachi and Asya Geisberg in NYC. Her residencies include Luton Culture in 2012, Vermont Studio Centre in 2015, NARS Foundation in New York in 2018, PLOP residency in London 2019 and Vasl Residency in Karachi 2020.

Syed Hasnain Nawab

Syed Hasnain Nawab was born in 1994 in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed his BSc in Economics and Political Science from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in 2017. He is currently working as a journalist and sub-editor at The Express Tribune.