Islamabad Biennale 2019


Pakistan, the country, appeared on the world map in 1947, but the history of its land and people goes back 10,000 years, starting from Mehergarh, We take pride in being a cradle of several civilizations including Bolan Valley, the Indus Valley, boasting Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, and Gandhara.The history reflects numerous layers of societies, religions and dialects. Pakistan has pluralistic culture with a rich history and assorted social improvements cultural developments over thousands of years and accommodates that diversity well in its structure. Its Constitution recognizes fundamental rights of its citizens and their right to freedom of expression, equality of status, opportunity and freedom of belief, faith, worship and association


The contemporary art scene in Pakistan is generally mindful of this rich and highly diversified cultural resource which distinguishes it in South Asia hence leading to an international recognition and acknowledgement over the last three decades. While appreciating this accomplishment, we must build upon the valuable contributions of our artists and launch a local platform that is cognizant of indigenous this cultural resource and blessed with a future vision to become a catalyst in bridging the gap between the potent Pakistani Art and its deserved realization internationally.Islamabad Biennale 2019 is a multi-disciplinary platform to extend an aesthetic dialogue across cultures involving all possible strands of visual and performing arts including architecture and cinema.IB-19 is a project of Pakistan National Council of the Arts and Hunerkada College of Visual & Performing Art, lead consortium of institutions committed to the promotion and propagation of art and culture.

The Biennale is being co curated by Jamal Shah and Dr.Vicky Clark along with a curatorial team of distinguished professionals from visual and performing art.

IB-19 aims to bring Pakistan’s vibrant young art scene and its innovative and energetic spirit in close contact with International artistic activity to explore cross fertilization of ideas, concerns and challenges. The platform will invite artists of consequence from diverse cultural backgrounds, creative disciplines and outlooks for a novel and multi-disciplinary aesthetic encounter and exploration of its thematic focus.


The overarching thematic focus of Islamabad Biennale 2019 is a DIALOGUE BETWEEN TRADITION AND MODERNITY. This will be explored across cultures and identities in an inclusive way, thinking about both differences and similarities. IB-19 would specifically probe the question of IDENTITY through following manifestations of the curatorial theme;

1. Indigenous Vocabulary and Contemporary Expression.

2. Crush on Modernity, affair with Classicism and Romance with Romanticism

3. Identity and Contemporary Challenges

4. My Tradition verses your Modernity


The 15 day long IB-19 (Islamabad Art Biennale) will be hosted in several locations in Islamabad engaging an audience of 500,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds and ages. The event will feature artists from at least ten international locations including the United States as well as 100 Pakistani Artists and 30 International Artists. The core theme will have far-reaching socio economic and cultural impact and aim to achieve the following;

  • Introducing new Art forms and practices through leading National and International Artists
  • Establishing and finding ways for community outreach public access to Art
  • Developing pedagogical framework of Art Education in Pakistan by involving educational institutions and policy makers
  • Providing a platform for niche intellects, creative pioneers, budding artists and the general public
  • Fostering relationships through Cultural dialogue and exchange of ideas
  • Promoting the cultural significance of Twin cities i.e. Islamabad, Rawalpindi and its surroundings
  • Re-innovating and creating Public Art spaces
  • Promoting creative entrepreneurship and using art to empower the communities by creating economic opportunities.
  • Addressing gender imbalance by supporting and encouraging female and minority artists
  • Strengthening people-to-people ties and enhance the level of creative engagement through cultural, educational, professional and academic exchanges.
  • Fortifying methods of sharing relevant information, professional experiences, exchange of ideas and technical expertise between of art and culture practitioners and professionals.
  • Reinforce and support local cultural institutions to build long-term, self-sustaining relationships and institutional linkages between Pakistani and International organizations. This will include capacity building and support for Pakistani organizations in the field of Visual Art, Music, Dance, Theatre and Cinema.
  • To contribute towards the growth of creative economy and development of Government’s capacity in the realm of arts and culture in Pakistan while building people-to-people ties.
  • To develop and improve public engagement through aesthetic forms of association that enhances social cohesion in a wide range of areas.
  • To demonstrate shared values aiming to build respect, trust and effective communication.



The Academic Forum aims to develop a place of interaction for educators and learners to connect with the city in an imaginative and creative way by bringing inter disciplinary perspectives to locations in Islamabad.  The forum plans to bring together established curators, scholars and educators from across the globe to conduct the workshops, critiques and discussions. IB Academic Programs will be focusing on the following areas:

•             Talk/Lectures and Workshops Series 

•             IB Adult Visitor Program  

•             School and Children Program 

•             Artist Studio Critique Program


  • Japanese Children Park
  • Shah Allah Ditta Caves
  • Railway Museum, Golra
  • Buddhist Sites in Taxila from Gandhara Civilation
  • Shrine Golra Sharif, Islamabad
  • Shrine Imam Bari, Islamabad
  • Pakistan Monument, Islamabad
  • Metro Station Blue Area/ F5
  • Diplomatic Enclave, Islamabad.
  • Art Galleries and Cultural Centres in Islamabad
  • National College of Arts, Rawalpindi
  • Haveli Sujan Singh, Rawalpindi
  • Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
  • National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad.
  • Fatima Jinnah Park F9
  • Lok Virsa, Islamabad
  • Natural Science History Museum, Islamabad.



IB-19, Launch of Logo and Website

IB-19, Open Call for participation



Arrival of 130 artists and 30 experts

(Gender equity will be observed)


IB-19 Collective Round Table

IB-19 Visual art Round Table

IB-19 Music Round Table

IB-19 Dance and Theatre Roundtable

IB-19 Cinema Roundtable

IB-19 Academic Forum