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KB17 - Karachi Biennale 2017

21 October - 5 November 2017

12 venues in Karachi, Pakistan

Conceptual framework: WITNESS

Chief Curator: Amin Gulgee


KB17 is Pakistan’s largest international contemporary art event that will take place every two years in Karachi. This October, over a hundred and forty artists from Pakistan and across the globe will respond to a common theme: WITNESS. Art Critic and Cultural Interventionist Niilofur Farrukh is the CEO of KB17.

Unburdened by a canon, Karachi is instead distinguished for a persistently altering memory. A maritime metropolis that embraces independent thinkers, like the Modernist Masters of the 1950s, and with three major art schools and one of South Asia’s most dynamic art gallery circuits, it is among the Art world’s best kept secrets.

Karachi by night

KB17 invites you to remap this turbulent city - over twenty-five million strong and sprawling - through the lens of art. Hosted at twelve diverse venues, including schools, heritage sites, cinemas and public parks, the biennale draws art and the artist out of the gallery and into spaces that define Karachi’s quotidian pulse. KB17 exhibitions, conceptualized by Amin Gulgee, its Chief Curator, with performances, screenings, and dialogue, pave way for charting new movement through familiar spaces.

KB17’s two-week long, free public exhibition is an occasion for Karachiites and visitors to participate in an aesthetic, intellectual, and emotional survey of the city. It is an exploration of how her sundry communities, her individuals, and her edifices, all witness and actively negotiate their city’s persistent social and political transitions.

KB17 at Venice Biennale 2017. Sara Pagganwala's performance for “Io Combatto” by Sarah Revoltella

The team of KB17 invites the international audience to share a common vision: "Our collective witnessing will disrupt the limits of our spatial imagination. Together, we can revisit our histories, rethink our present, and reimagine our future with greater optimism."


Chief Curator Amin Gulgee - Biography


165 participants - complete list


Program of events


(From press information. Photo above: Li Wei)

Richard Humann: The Same River Twice, 2013


Main Exhibition Venues:

NJV School

Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Art Gallery, Alliance française Karachi

Jamshed Memorial Hall

Pioneer Book House

VM Art Gallery
Karachi School of Art
IVS Gallery
Fomma DHA Art Center, Fomma Trust
Sadequain Gallery, Frere Hall
Capri Cinema
Claremont House
63 Commissariat Lines


Organizer, contact:

Karachi Biennale Trust
48-A, Lalazar Street No.1, New Queens Road
Karachi 74000, Pakistan
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