Vasl Rohtas International Residency

International Artists’ Residency, Islamabad


in collaboration with Rohtas

with Basak Akcakaya, Khanyisile Mbongwa. Katayoun Karami, Muzzumil RuheelNaqsh Raj and Syed Hassan Mujtaba

The five week Vasl International Residency in Islamabad, in collaboration with Rohtas, was held at the Rohtas Rawan Farm. The residency brought together three Pakistani artists – Syed Hassan Mujtaba, Naqsh Raj, Muzzumil Ruheel, and three foreign artists  – Basak Akcakaya, Khanyisile Mbongwa and Katayoun Karami. The artists were placed at Rohtas Rawan site, which is within a four kilometer radius from a number of artisan workshops, such as carpenters, blacksmiths, stonecutters and tile makers. The sprawling city merged with the natural environment in the areas surrounding Islamabad and created distinct visual terrain that were neither ‘nature’ nor ‘suburbia’. This residency explored notions of nature and artifice that emerge through transformations of space.

Naqsh Raj’s work explored painting as the oldest medium of expression. “It requires aesthetics, skill, and intellect. But now I am afraid that painting as a subject matter is losing its presence in the contemporary world of art. In this residency, I interacted with the outside of the studio. I collected the disposed materials and introduced it to the inside – the studio.”