Visual artist Naiza Khan honoured with Prince Claus Award
Karachi: Visual artist Naiza Khan has been selected as one of 11 laureates in 2013 to be awarded the prestigious Prince Claus Award – making her the third Pakistani after Arif Hasan and Madeeha Gohar to earn this distinction.
Naiza Khan, born in Bahawalpur in 1968, creates incisive work that examines the crucial paradoxes of the Pakistani society, especially the complex social position of women. She co-founded the VASL artists’ collective, which is a vital hub for contemporary art in the country. She is an inspiring role model for young artists.
She was educated at Somerville College, Oxford University studying at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. She also studied at the Wimbledon School of Art, UK.
Her work has earned her global critical acclaim. For over a decade, Khan has developed her artistic practice by a persistent formal and thematic meditation on the female body. She has charted an exemplary independent path among the shifting currents of contemporary Pakistani art, producing an extended body of work exploring the sensuality of the female body, but also its weight, its opacity and its recalcitrance in relation to the social order.
At the heart of Khan’s work is an archaeological impulse to explore how objects speak eloquently of human experience…It is also the principle that drives her to explore landscapes in which ruins of the past are overlaid by stories that indicate the continuing hold of history on the present. Khan’s work primarily relates to her immediate context in Pakistan, but it captures a sense of uncertainty that is broadly felt across the world.
Subtexts emanate like shooting stars in Khan’s works on paper. She invents curious affinities between apparently unconnected – disparate, objects. Provocative alliances are formed, invoking manifold messages and potential contradictions. Naiza Khan’s lexicon is not entirely instinctual. She researches, deliberates and draws from historical, visual sources as far apart as Rembrandt and Utamaro.
For 17 years, the Prince Claus Fund has been supporting freedom of cultural expression in developing countries
Through its annual Prince Claus Awards, the Fund honours eleven outstanding artists, thinkers and organisations whose cultural and artistic actions have had a positive impact on their countries’ development. They are often role models and are an important source of inspiration for all those around them.
The Principal Prince Claus Award will be presented to Ahmed Fouad Negm, Egypt’s poet of the people by HRH Prince Constantijn during the official ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam on December 11.
This event will take place in the presence of members of the Dutch Royal Family. The 10 remaining laureates will receive their awards from the Dutch ambassador in their country of origin. The laureates are chosen by an independent international jury.