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Single Artist Residency

July 1 – August 4, 2017

with Abdullah Qureshi

Lahore based painter, Abdullah Qureshi was hosted by Vasl for a month long artist residency program in which he explored Karachi as an urban metropolis through the lens of an individual who was not only new to the city but new to its’ residents. Having created paintings and written research on sexuality, gender and the role it has played in art, Abdullah used the rooftop of the Vasl residence as an inspiring setting to create his new body of work for this residency. Set amongst thousands of apartment buildings and palm trees, a landscape quintessentially Karachi, Abdullah spent his time exploring the neighbourhood with his friend and colleague Aziz Sohail. On August 4th, 2017 Vasl Artists Association hosted an open day at the Vasl residence, displaying resident artist Abdullah Qureshi’s work around the apartment in an intimate setting; water colours and oil enamel paintings were kept inside closets and on the drawing table while projections could be viewed in the bedroom and office. This informal setting reflected Abdullah’s personal take on the work created at Vasl and his development and understanding of his own sexuality through the interaction with individuals in his life. The viewing of the work was followed by a reading titled ‘Hot City’ written by curator and writer Aziz Sohail. The third element of the program was a conversation between Abdullah and Aziz on the Vasl rooftop where the two conversed about their previous collaborations and perspectives on art.

About Abdullah Qureshi:

As a visual artist, Abdullah Qureshi is interested in the history of painting, in particular abstract expressionism, experimenting to expand the liminal space between abstraction and representation. Along with this, questions of personal history, childhood memories and processing a traumatic past have been key concerns for him. Building upon this, more recently, taking the format of a visual diary, through portraiture Qureshi has been interested in investigating ideas of masculinity, sexuality and intimacy amongst other things. Qureshi’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.  He is the founder of Gallery 39K, and from 2013 – 2016, Qureshi worked as the Senior Consultant Arts at British Council, as well as visiting faculty at the National College of Arts and Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design.  He is currently an Art and International Cooperation fellow at Zurich University of Arts, researching and developing ideas of queerness in Pakistan, and a doctoral candidate at Aalto University’s School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland.