The Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation was a primary supporter of the Pakistan’s first official Pavilion at the La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), 2019. The world’s oldest and most prestigious international art exhibition, the biennale is a six month long contemporary visual art exhibition and host a large number of prominent individuals from all walks of life. The overall focus is to provide an immersive artistic and cultural experience for visitors as well as giving country’s the chance to showcase their talent to a global audience.
Titled ‘Manora Field Notes’, the installation featured the work of artist Naiza Khan, the first official representation of Pakistan at the Venice Biennale. The Pavilion has unfolded across three interconnected spaces, encouraging visitors to explore the venue like a ‘map’ of Manora Island. Central to the installation are archival materials relating to surveillance and navigation, found in the island’s abandoned 19th-century observatory. Manora Field Notes also includes a multi-screen video installation, created using ten years of footage shot on the island, bringing together contrasting landscapes, viewpoints and narratives. The overall setup was a joint effort by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) and Foundation Art Divvy.
Naiza Khan commented: “Manora Field Notes, and the expansive research I have done over the years, is in some ways a homage to the island. At the same time, it moves through the materiality of that space, inviting questions about labor and production, optics and erasure, and the relationship between the ocean and land.”
The Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF) is the charitable arm of JS Group. With a focus on healthcare, education, and sustainable development, the Foundation works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential. JS Group has strived to give back to the community in which it operates through multiple philanthropic initiatives. The Group also supported the Karachi Biennale with the aim to promote art and culture within Pakistan.