VASL Art

Durriya Kazi

is a sculptor based in Karachi whose work reflects her concerns with tradition and change. Her work consists of three dimensional works, drawings and installations. Focusing on wider audiences and exploring existing art practises outside the colonial legacy of the gallery, Durriya has sought to create sites to voice these "hidden histories", attempting to bring coherence to the dispersal and fragmentation common in the wake of imposed cultures of both colonial as well as post colonial ideologies.

Seeing art as intervention, her seminal work, the Art Caravan (1994), set the pattern for exploring issues of collaboration, inclusion, audience, and both making art step outside as well as inviting the “outside” in. Her activities as an artist, an art educator, and a participant in all aspects of the art debate, focus on discovering firm ground for authentic art practice. An important aspect of this has been a number of public art projects that link contemporary art concerns with popular urban art practices. Seeing art less as object and more as experience/intervention, her aim is to bring art away from the periphery to a more central place in society.

In her role as an art educator she has similarly engaged in locating art education in the cultural context of Pakistan without compromising its international role. She has established a Visual Studies Department at the University of Karachi in 1999 the underlying philosophy of which is to bring traditional and contemporary practices on equal footing. She has researched traditional and popular arts and has presented papers on these subjects.

Karachi June 2006

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