The launch of KB19, the second iteration of the Karachi Biennale, and tribute to the late Habib Fida Ali took place on 9th February, 2019, at the historic Habib Fida Ali House. Foregrounding Karachi’s history and its heritage is a large part of what KBT does, so it was fitting that this location was selected for the launch of KB19, an event that is anchored in Karachi. Founders of KBT were called upon to gives details about the scope of interventions that KB19 will bring.
Curator Muhammad Zeeshan introduced the theme of the Biennale, Ecology, and how the focus of KB19 would be to take art outdoors, directly to the public by situating it in parks and areas of extreme foot traffic. CEO KB19, Niilofur Farrukh introduced the event as a first ever opportunity for Pakistani artists to engage with ecology on such a large scale, addressing its concerns and sensitizing the public.
Bushra Hussain, Secretary KBT introduced the prizes that KB19 will offer and the opportunities that these prizes present for the artist being recognized, and the artist commissioned to create a bespoke trophy for each of the 5 prizes. Connecting the community, the past, present and future, these prizes are a unique opportunity.
Chief guest Zohra Hussain shared oral history about her gallery Chawkandi Art, and the valuable interactions she has had over the years with artists who she has mentored and supported, and with her late friend Habib Fida Ali.
A documentary on habib Fida Ali, specially commissioned by KBT saw a young film student, Zahra Mansoor, create a tribute and commemoration that also served to introduced Habib’s work to a new generation.
The evening concluded with a highly exciting performance by new media artist Wolfgang Spahn, that transformed the historic venue.