About Vasl

Vasl Artists’ Association is affiliated with the Triangle Network, UK,which is an international network of artists and art organisations.

The term ‘Vasl’ originating from both Urdu and Persian poetry, has an enriched deep association of a physical or transcendent connection between two. Inspired by this philosophy, Vasl Artist’s Association functions as a platform for encouraging the freedom to express and nurture creativity. Established in 2001 and based in Karachi, Pakistan. Vasl is a not-for-profit organisation that is also affiliated with the Triangle Network, which was founded in 1982 – a global network of artists and visual arts organisation that support professional development and cultural exchange. Since its inception, more than 700 international and local artists have undertaken Vasl residencies, attended various workshops and created projects of significance.

Vasl’s programs offer unique resources and spaces:

1. Vasl’s facilities include a fully furnished apartment which is in the hub of Karachi. It includes Vasl’s office, a lovely rooftop studio which accommodates various art affairs, ranging from enlightening artist talks to other programs such as immersive and productive workshops. With the assistance and guidance from fellow Vasl staff, both residents and visiting artists work collectively to create cultural and statement art pieces.

2. Vasl consistently runs their residency programs throughout the year. The Vasl Residencies and Workshops provide a space and supportive manifesto for professional artists and innovative minds, not only from Pakistan but international artists who are interested in expanding their horizons. The key components of Vasl’s residency program includes access to Vasl studios, city orientation programs, constructive feedback and critique by established artists, research facilitations, as well as building strong connections with Vasl’s thriving community of supporting institutions.

3. Taaza Tareen is Vasl’s annual flagship residency which was founded in 2005. Taaza Tareen is a steppingstone for fresh graduates from various Pakistani art institutions who are in need of support in order to build their ideas into careers. Taaza Tareen residencies have supported over 70 artists at this formative stage of their professional life. Exceptional visual artists are awarded the ‘Vasl Research Grant’ by the Taaza Tareen residency, which has been selected by a panel of entrenched art professionals.

4. Vasl’s Educational Outreach programs continuously expand the dialogue of art with diverse communities and localities. The main focus on education aids in developing critical thinking regarding art and its relation to modern day society which includes enlightening mentoring workshops for art educators to enhance their professional skills in the higher education sector. Additionally, Vasl has designed and published not only manuals but workbooks to help enhance art education with private and governmental institutions.

5. Vasl bolsters research and publications regarding contemporary art practices through publishing and sponsoring artist books, as well as incorporating writers and curators in our residencies. Undertaking the need for documenting the practice of artists, Vasl produces in-house publications such as our ‘Conversations with Contemporary Pakistani Artists’ series which documents and focuses on emerging Pakistani artists and their dialogues with society.

Vasl Board Members

Adeela Suleman, Director

Adeela Suleman is a visual artist and educationist, received her BFA from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi in 1999 and before that she did her MA in International Relations from Karachi University in 1995. Suleman was the Head of the Fine Art Department at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture from 2008 – 2019, Karachi, Pakistan. She is the founding member and Director of Vasl Artists’ Association, Karachi, Pakistan.

Nadeem Khalid, Director

Nadeem Khalid possesses more than ­­­­­­­­­35 years of professional experience of managing Herbion Group of Companies, which manufactures and markets natural medicines in more than 25 countries of the world, employing 1,200 people.
He is serving on the Board of Governors, WWF since 2014 and was the Commodore of Karachi Yacht Club in the year 2009 and its Honorary Secretary from 2007-2017. He is also serving on the board of Directors of Peace Niche/ T2F and VASL.
He has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (Gas and Steam Turbines) from People’s Friendship University, Moscow, Russia and is interested in literature, Art, Political Economy and History.

Khurram Kasim

Khurram Kasim is on the board of directors of various companies of the Hasham Group, which is his family concern and was established by his grandfather Mr. Haji Hasham in 1948. Mr. Kasim started collecting contemporary Pakistani art in 1997. Over the past twenty years he has developed one of the most significant private contemporary art collections in Pakistan. Besides art, Mr. Kasim has a keen interest in design and in 2017 he launched his furniture design brand BRAT with an exhibition in Karachi. In 2017, he established the Khurram Kasim Art Foundation. KKAF’s maiden initiative is to provide sponsorship for an artist from Pakistan to be selected for the Delfina Foundation residency in the United Kingdom every year.

Sameera Raja

Sameera Raja is the Founder/Curator of Canvas Gallery, Karachi. Having originally obtained her degree in architecture from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Ms. Raja, after working in this field, broadened her interests to the world of visual arts. The idea of Canvas Gallery emerged from Ms. Raja’s astute observation that there were few opportunities for exhibiting cutting-edge, contemporary art which, at the turn of the last century, Pakistan was direly in need of.

In over twenty years since Canvas Gallery opened its doors to the public, Sameera Raja changed the course of Pakistani art and its relationship to the international art world through focus on modern miniature, new media and contemporary works, by creating exposure and awareness of emerging talent. Canvas Gallery is now considered the leading private art gallery of the country.

The Canvas Residency Programmes were an initiative launched for exploration of art in public spaces, to provide artists with unique opportunities to collaborate with local communities and create work outside their regular frame of reference/studio spaces. The Residency Programmes are held in collaboration with key corporate partners locally.

Ms. Raja also regularly collaborates with a number of galleries around the world to exhibit in art fairs, biennales and other ventures, in addition to holding solo exhibitions of prominent Pakistani artists as well as emerging artists.

Ms Raja’s contributions to the Pakistani art scene have been numerous. She was formerly the Chairperson of the Executive Committee and a Member of the Board of Governors of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA) as well as holding a previous position as the Art Chair for the 1st ADA (Architecture, Design, Art) Awards. She is on the Advisory Panel for IPAF (International Public Art Festival), is the Jury Chair of the I Am Karachi (IAK) Awards and a Jury Member of the Toyota Motors Dream Car Competition. In addition, she delivers talks, participates in cultural events and promotes contemporary Pakistani art at various forums and platforms, art fairs and institutes within the country as well as internationally and is an established leading authority within her field.

Vasl Working Team

Razin Rubin, Project Coordinator

Born and raised in Sukkur, Pakistan, Razin Rubin is a Karachi-based visual artist. Her artistic journey began when she decided to pursue art and relocated to Karachi in 2013. In 2016, she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art with a distinction in thesis from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, and received the IVS Founders Award 2016 for her outstanding efforts. Since her graduation, Rubin has been actively showcasing her work in Pakistan and was also part of a group show at the Aicon Gallery in the United States.

In addition to her artistic pursuits, Razin Rubin has been at the Vasl Artists’ Association since 2017, where she currently serves as a Project Coordinator. Furthermore, she has been a member of the design faculty at the Imperial Tutorial College in Karachi since its inception.

Patras Wilayat Javed, Ancillary Staff

Patras Wilayat Javed has been working at Vasl Artists’ Association since 2001. He maintains the upkeeping of  Vasls’ apartment, prepares meals for resident artists, stocks groceries, manages the kitchen and general house-keeping. Javed lives and works in Karachi, Pakistan.

Rental

Vasl Artists’ Association utilizes the apartment primarily for Vasl residency programs, workshops and collaborators. However, upon availibility, the association does offer accommodation to those individuals who belong to art backgrounds and wish to stay in Karachi for their work and research. In such cases the rooms are rented out for affordable rates only when unoccupied by Vasl resident artists. All proceeds raised through the rental of our accommodation and studio spaces go towards supporting our programs.

Overview of facilities:

  • Two bedrooms with attached bathrooms,
  • WiFi and air conditioning,
  • Printing, scanning and other multi-media gadgets
  • Back-up generator
  • Kitchen, dining area and communal living space
  • Studio/workspace accessible to in-house artists
  • 24 hours Assistant Staff.

Please contact us for further assistance

About Triangle Network

Triangle Network is a global network of artists and arts organisations that support professional development and cultural exchange amongst artists, curators, cultural workers and organisations throughout the world.

Since 1982, Triangle has provided significant opportunities for over 4,500 artists through workshops, residencies, events, exhibitions, work placements and studio provision. This has led to the creation, association and partnership of Triangle Network projects and organisations in over 40 countries – an extensive, artist-focused infrastructure that continues to adapt and thrive.

More about Triangle Network