Naiza Khan

Karachi, Pakistan
'Manora must always have been this restful anchor to the turbulence of Karachi, something so needed now, a sheltered space that is fast loosing ground.' Naiza Khan, Journal, 2 April 2009

While Naiza Khan is best known for her earlier works related to the female body, she has always been interested in historical sites and other sources that testify to cultural transformation.

After a trip to Manora Island in 2007, a 20-minute boat ride from the artist's hometown of Karachi, Khan began to record evidence of the constantly changing island through large-scale drawings, photographic work, videos and text.

In her youth, the island was a popular picnic destination for families in Karachi. When the artist revisited the island she found houses that were marked for demolition and thousands of people had been forced to leave their homes. What was once a site for both Hindu and Muslim pilgrimages had become a sad symbol of urban decay. For Khan, Manora Island serves as a metaphor for transformations that have taken place at several sites in the greater region of Karachi. In her work about Manora Island, Khan unearthed traces of history and documents of the past she believes will be the key to social identity in the future.

In 2010 Naiza Khan created 'Terra Incognita' a drawing of the fort at Manora which had been attacked and destroyed by the British before their capture of Karachi in February 1839. (Karachi stayed under British colonial rule until 1947.) The fort, which faces the Arabian Sea, became a symbol of both destruction and fortification. The title 'Terra Incognita' expresses the tragic state of this historic site – having been erased before ever being mapped.

place & year of birth
Bahawalpur 1968, Pakistan

featured galleries

BFA University of Oxford, Somerville College
Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art

Foundation Course, Wimbledon School of Art

solo exhibitions
Restore the Boundaries - The Manora Project, Rossi & Rossi Art Dubai, Dubai

The skin she wears*, Rossi & Rossi Gallery, London
Iron Clouds I *, Rohtas II, Lahore
Iron Clouds II *, Rohtas Gallery, Islamabad

Heavenly Ornaments*, Canvas Gallery, Karachi

bare the fact, bear the fact*, Chemould Gallery, Mumbai

Exhale*, Canvas Gallery, Karachi

Voices Merge, Chawkandi Art, Karachi

La Linea Negra, Gallery 7, Hong Kong

Recent drawings and painting works, Chawkandi Art, Karachi

group exhibitions
Manifesta 8, Chamber of Public Secrets, Murcia, Spain
Medrar 4th Cairo Video Festival, Cairo
Artissima Art Fair, Torino
Svelando L’utopia, Alberto Peola, Torino
Taking Issue, Howard Gardens Gallery, Cardiff School of
Art and Design, University of Wales, Cardiff
Between Kismet and Karma, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds

Hanging Fire*, Asia Society Gallery and Museum, New York
The Emperor’s New Cloths, Talwar Gallery, New York
Aspirations: The Dream, The Fable and the One Thousandth and One Night, Video program curated by Aida Eltoire in collaboration with Contemporary Practices: Art Dubai, Dubai and Hong Kong Art Fair, Hong Kong

Arte Fiera di Bologna, Bologna
Pulse Art Fair, Miami
ShContemporary, Shanghai
Desperately seeking paradise*, Art Dubai, Dubai
Crossroads*, Elementa, Dubai
Women of Light, Davide Gallo Gallery, Berlin
Lets draw the line*, Chawkandi Art, Karachi

Figurative Pakistan*, Aicon Gallery, London
Contemporary Art from Pakistan, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York
Moving On*, Inaugural show National Art Gallery: An Intensity of Space and Substance, Re-forming Landscape, Figurative Impulse, Islamabad
Multiple editions-one*, Chawkandi Art, Karachi

7th Bharat Bhavan International Biennial of Print-Art, Bhopal

Layers of time and space*, Ifa Gallery, Berlin/Stuttgart
ScopeLondon - art fair, London
One to One* 58 works 58 years 58 artists, Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore
Beyond Borders – Art of Pakistan, National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay

Living Masters - Young Voices*, Alhamra, Lahore
Cover Girl: the Female Body and Islam in Contemporary Art, Ise Cultural Foundation, New York

Anima e corpo*, 43rd Premio Suzzara, Suzzara Italy

Threads, dreams and desires: ArtSouthAsia*, Harris Museum, Preston UK
Gasworks Studios Artist’s Residency, London
11th Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka

The Eye Still Seeks*, Ivan Doughty Gallery, UNSW, Sydney
Vasl International Artists’ Workshop (a Triangle Workshop), Gadani, Pakistan

Another Vision*, Fifty years of painting and sculpture in Pakistan, Brunei Gallery, London

* Catalogued shows

Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia, Iftikhar Dadi, 2010

Comparing Cities: Edited by Kamran Ali & Martina Rieker
Essay: Ghostly Sufis and Ornamental Shadows: Spectral Visualities in Karachi's Public Sphere by Iftikhar. Oxford University Press, Pakistan

Memory, Metaphor, Mutations The Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan, Salima Hashmi and Yashodara Dalmia - Oxford University Press
Women, Gender Representations of Sexualities and Gender in the Visual Arts Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (Volume 5) Ed. Suad Joseph

Polar Magazine Berlin Issue I
Mappings ArtSouthAsia pub. Shisha

Art and Social Change, Contemporary art in Asia and the Pacific, Edited by Caroline Turner pub. Pandanus Books

Caravan Café Art from Central Asia, Enrico Mascelloni

Unveiling the Visible Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan by Salima Hashmi p.158-161

50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan, Salima Hashmi and Quddus Mirza

7th Bharat Bhavan International Biennial of Print, India

Prize, 43rd Premio Suzzara, Italy
National Excellence Award, 8th National Exb. Visual Arts, Pakistan

Unilever 1st Lux Award for Visual Artist of the year, Pakistan

Terra Incognita

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The Lake Seems to Swell

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