Two Wings to Fly, Not One

Aisha Khalid & Imran Qureshi

Exhibition dates: 16 April – 31 May 2017

Pakistan National Council of the Arts
National Art Gallery
Plot No. 5, F-5/1

Inspired by a verse by Jalaluddin Rumi, Two Wings to Fly, Not One, seeks to emphasize a multi-faceted view of Pakistan. This show explores the country’s varying narratives – political, social and historical – all of which run through the artists’ perceptive pieces. The artists invite visitors to the show to grapple with the country’s dynamic contemporary culture, where resilience and hope withstand the harsh realities brought about by disparity and socio-economic difficulties.

Aisha Khalid and Imran Qureshi have been hailed internationally as Pakistan's foremost and most prominent contemporary artists. Trained in the Miniature Art tradition from National College of Art, Lahore, Khalid and Qureshi and have been instrumental in developing and popularizing the contemporary miniature art movement of Pakistan. Both artists have enhanced their craft and pushed it further conceptually. Specific signature motifs are prevalent throughout their paintings; Khalid explores geometric forms and the idea of a vortex in many of her works, while Qureshi’s paintings include floral sprays.

Inspired by Mughal and Persian traditions of painting, contemporary miniature artists have rediscovered and adapted these ancient traditions. While adopting certain core technical tenants of Mughal art, contemporary miniature artists modified their creations for contemporary audiences by layering on modern themes and scenarios, probing social issues and depicting current settings and architecture.

A bilingual catalogue of the exhibition will be published. It will include full colour plates of the works, and installation shots, as well as new essays on the artists.


The Pakistan National Council of the Arts National Art Gallery is delighted to announce Two Wings to Fly, Not One, by Aisha Khalid and Imran Qureshi. This will be the renowned miniaturists’ first joint exhibition at a museum in Pakistan and will open at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts National Art Gallery on Saturday 15 April 2017.

Curated by Zahra Khan, the exhibition at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts National Art Gallery will be spread throughout the ground floor of the museum, over four large gallery spaces. It will present approximately 40 works, including new pieces created especially for the exhibition.

Designed to present the breadth of the artists’ oeuvre and the array of mediums with which they work, the show will include sculptures and paintings as well as interactive videos and elaborate artist books. Intricate miniature paintings on Wasli paper will be accompanied by complex wall installations.

Highlights include a large site-specific installation by Qureshi on the curved terrace of the museum and Khalid’s heavily worked hanging tapestries. The exhibition seeks to encourage audience participation and foster an appreciation and understanding of Pakistani art within its viewers.

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