Press Release

Second Lahore Biennale: "between the sun and the moon" Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi Features 20+ New Commissions and Work by More Than 70 International Artists

Event Date: 
6 January 2020
Lahore, Pakistan
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Installed Across Cultural and Heritage Sites Throughout Lahore, Pakistan, from 26 January to 29 February 2020

The Lahore Biennale Foundation today revealed a list of over 70 participating artists for the second edition of the Lahore Biennale (LB02), running from 26 January through 29 February 2020. Curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, LB02: between the sun and the moon brings a plethora of artistic projects to cultural and heritage sites throughout the city of Lahore including more than 20 new commissions by artists from across the region and around the world, including Alia Farid, Diana Al-Hadid, Hassan Hajjaj, Haroon Mirza, Hajra Waheed and Simone Fattal, among many others. Other participating artists include Anwar Saeed, Rasheed Araeen and the late Madiha Aijaz.

With a focus on the Global South, where ongoing social disaffection is being aggravated by climate change, LB02 responds to the cultural and ecological history of Lahore and aims to awaken awareness of humanity’s daunting contemporary predicament. Works presented in LB02 will explore human entanglement with the environment while revisiting traditional understandings of the self and their cosmological underpinnings. Inspiration for this thematic focus is drawn from intellectual and cultural exchange between South and West Asia.

“For centuries, inhabitants of these regions oriented themselves with reference to the sun, the moon, and the constellations. How might we reflect on our place within the cosmos today, at this conjuncture of planetary climate crisis and polarities between societies?” said Hoor Al Qasimi, Curator of LB02. “LB02 looks upwards with a view to forging new resonances and new imaginings of the future that encompass the full breadth of its material and virtual possibilities, growing from a tradition of intra-regional mobility of ideas, people, flora and fauna.”

New commissions for LB02 exploring these themes include:

  • An immersive multimedia installation and performative experience by Almagul Menlibayeva inspired by Timurid ruler and astronomer Sultan Ulugh Beg (1394 – 1449), combining exploration of his works in astronomy-related mathematics, arts and Islamic metaphysics brought to life through site-specific performances by sound artist German Popov and painter Inna Artemova.
  • A film by Alia Farid exploring humanity’s multidimensional relationship with animals and the environment. Shot in the fertile alluvial plains of the Indus river and its tributaries in the province of Punjab, this work considers the effect of the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, whilst examining the evolving relationship of locals with waterways. 
  • An installation and publication by Reem Falaknaz illuminating a little-known cultural link between Pakistan and the UAE in the form of pigeon racing, drawing upon visually arresting profiles of racers, competitions and celebratory photos of winners with their trophies. 
  • Bronze sculptures by Taus Makhacheva depicting fragmentary narratives of twelve fictional female characters, each accompanied by sound and poetry by women writers including Rachida Madani and Warsan Shire. 
  • The Pak Khawateen Painting Club (translated into “Pure Pakistani Women’s Painting Club”) studies traditional and modern distribution of water for irrigation and urban purposes, and policies of colonial and post-colonial hydrology. 

Bearing the imprint of epochal transformations spanning the Mughal, Sikh and British eras, as well as its more recent post-Partition sovereignty, Lahore provides a rich and complex urban tapestry for artistic intervention. An important node for the movement of people and ideas—and for material, cultural, and environmental exchange since antiquity—,this hub of 11 million people is today a leading cultural center, home to prominent artists, writers, musicians, and art institutions. 

LB02: between the sun and the moon will install ambitious works of contemporary art throughout cultural heritage sites across the city, including:

  • Gaddafi Stadium, home of Pakistan’s national cricket team designed by architect Nasreddin Murat-Khan (1959), and re-appropriated by architect Nayyar Ali Dada (1996).
  • Lahore Museum, an important example of Indo-Saracenic architecture constructed under British rule, which holds the country's largest and oldest collection of historical, cultural, and artistic objects.
  • Lahore Fort, citadel that dates back to 1566. Constructed on an ancient site by successive Mughal emperors it was famously rebuilt in the 17th century, when the empire was at the summit of its splendor. Later additions were added under the Sikh period. 
  • PIA Planetarium, located near Chauburji, the historic gateway to Lahore, the PIA Planetarium was built in the 1980s, when Pakistan International Airways (PIA) was renowned as a leading airline in Asia and pioneer of commercial aviation in the Muslim world.
  • PILAC (Punjab Institute of Language, Art & Culture) was established to promote the art and cultural richness of Punjab, designed by renowned architect Nayyar Ali Dada (1994).
  • Tollinton Market, built in 1864 as a temporary exhibition space for the First Punjab Exhibition Hall, has served various purposes over time. Most recently it has been restored into a museum by architect Sajjad Kausar. 

 

The artists creating new commissions for LB02 include: 

  • Ajam Media Collective
  • Almagul Menlibayeva 
  • Alia Farid
  • Ayesha Zulfiqar
  • Ayman Zedani
  • Bahar Behbahani
  • Barbara Walker
  • Diana Al-Hadid
  • Eyob Kitaba
  • Khadim Ali
  • Hanok Melkamzer
  • Hassan Hajjaj
  • Haroon Mirza
  • Hajra Waheed
  • Imran Ahmad
  • Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq
  • Muzzamil Ruheel
  • Pak Khawateen Painting Club
  • Rayyane Tabet
  • Reem Falaknaz
  • Simone Fattal
  • Taus Makhacheva

 

The list of artists participating in LB02: between the sun and the moon follows below: 

  • Abdullah Al Saadi 
  • Adrián Villar Rojas
  • Afrah Shafiq
  • Ajam Media Collective
  • Ali Kazim
  • Alia Farid
  • Almagul Menlibayeva
  • Amar Kanwar
  • Amina Menia
  • Amina Zoubir
  • Anwar Saeed
  • Ayesha Zulfiqar
  • Ayman Zedani
  • Bahar Behbahani
  • Barbara Walker
  • Basir Mahmood
  • Basma Al Sharif 
  • Bernie Searle
  • Bouchra Khalili
  • Christodoulous Panayiotou
  • Diana Al-Hadid
  • Eyob Kitaba
  • Farah Al Qasimi
  • Farideh Lashai 
  • Farkhanda Ashraf Khilji
  • Gary Simmons
  • Hajra Waheed
  • Halil Altindere
  • Hanok Melkamzer
  • Haris Epaminonda
  • Haroon Mirza
  • Hassan Hajjaj
  • Hera Büyüktaşcıyan and Hajra Haider Karrar
  • Hoda Afshar
  • Hrair Sarkissian 
  • Imran Ahmad Khan
  • Jeanno Gaussi
  • John Akomfrah
  • Kader Attia
  • Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq
  • Khadim Ali
  • Khalil Rabbah
  • Lida Abdul
  • Madiha Aijaz
  • Mariam Ghani 
  • Mark Salvatus
  • Marwa Arsanios 
  • Michael Rakowitz
  • Moza Al Matrooshi
  • Mudasar Rashdi
  • Mohammad Ali Talpur
  • Munem Wasif 
  • Muzzumil Ruheel
  • Naiza Khan
  • Nalini Malani
  • Nasrin Tabatabai and Babak Affrasiabi
  • Nedko Solakov
  • The Otolith Group
  • Pak Khawateen Painting Club
  • Rabbya Naseer & Hurmat ul Ain
  • Rachid Koraïchi
  • Rahat Ali
  • Rasheed Araeen
  • Rayyane Tabet
  • Reem Falaknaz
  • Shezad Dawood 
  • Simone Fattal
  • Slavs and Tatars 
  • Taus Makhacheva
  • Tentative Collective
  • Vivan Sundaram
  • Wael Shawky
  • Waseem Akram
  • Yaminay Chaudhri
  • Younus Nomani
  • Yousuf Nomani
  • Yto Barrada
  • Zarina Bhimji
  • Zulfiqar Rind

 

Further details on the opening program for LB02: between the sun and the moon will be announced in early 2020.  

About Hoor Al Qasimi

Hoor Al Qasimi is President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation. Her recent curatorial projects include solo exhibitions of Amal Kenawy (2018), Hassan Sharif (2017), Yayoi Kusama (2016), Robert Breer (2016), Farideh Lashai (2016), Rasheed Araeen (2014) and Susan Hefuna (2014). She co-curated Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige: Two Suns in a Sunset (2016) and major surveys such as When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938 –1965) (2016) and The Khartoum School: The Making of the Modern Art Movement in Sudan (1945–present) (2016–2017). Al Qasimi served as co-curator of Sharjah Biennial 6 (2003), she has since continued as Biennial Director. She curated the UAE National Pavilion for the Venice Biennale (2015). 

Al Qasimi is President of the International Biennial Association; Chair of the Advisory Board, College of Art and Design, University of Sharjah; and President of The Africa Institute, Sharjah. Al Qasimi serves on the board of directors for MoMA PS1, New York; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Ashkal Alwan, Beirut; and Sharjah Architecture Triennial; as well as advisory boards for Khoj, New Delhi; and Darat al Funun, Amman. She is also a member of the Prince Claus Award Committee (2016–present).

About Lahore Biennale Foundation 

The Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF) is a non-profit organization based in Lahore, Pakistan, that seeks to provide critical sites for experimentation in the visual arts through its flagship initiative, the Lahore Biennale, and through year-round public art projects presented across Pakistan. Inclusivity, collaboration, and public engagement are central to LBF’s mission to support art as an agent of social transformation. 

Lahore Biennale LB02 has the strong support of the Government of Punjab and its various Departments, and Corporate Partnership with Habib Bank Limited (HBL) as Lead Sponsor. Other sponsors include AkzoNobel Pakistan, Servis Foundation, Agha Steel Industries and Careem. Institutional partners include the Barjeel Foundation, NCA, Punjab University, Lahore Museum, Walled City of Lahore Authority, South Asia Institute Chicago, Alhamra Cultural Complex, PILAC, Goethe-Institut, and COMO. Lahore Biennale Foundation’s Founding Patrons include the Babar Ali Foundation, Nayyar Ali Dada and Associates and Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd.

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Anwar Saeed, Temporary Situations I, 2012. Image courtesy of Khurram Kasim.

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