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Wednesday June 12, 2024

Artwork from Karachi Biennale featured in London festival

By News Desk
July 18, 2023

Artists who participated in the Karachi Biennale 2022 enthralled audiences at the recently-held Land Body Ecologies Festival in London.

The Karachi Biennale Trust stated that the festival featured a prize-winning artwork of the KB22, Microtonal, that was created through a collaboration between a UK-based art studio, Invisible Flock, and two artistes from Badin.

It was a moment of great pride for Pakistan, and also evidence of how music could help artistes transcend geographic borders to produce art that was unique, futuristic and of highest international standards, read a statement issued by the trust.

The Borindo, an instrument facing cultural extinction, was given a prominent space at the four-day festival that featured teams from India, Uganda, Kenya, Thailand and the UK.

The festival explored deep connections between health and the ecosystem through performances, workshops, food, music, film and storytelling.

The journey of Microtonal began prior to the Third Karachi Biennale (KB22) held in November last year.

The Invisible Flock reached out to Faqir Zulfiqar, a folk musician from Badin and Allah Jurio, a potter from Badin and one of the few living makers of the Borindo, an ancient wind instrument from Sindh, for a partnership.

The Borindo is made of clay and resembles an insect’s nest. Its melodious sound captures the sorrows and joys of the people of Sindh.

The combined innovation and creativity of the team extended the sound of the Borindo through the use of technology. Microtonal took the form of an interactive, data-driven sound sculpture created from 200

Borindos. The medium included microtonal notes, clay and circuitry, generative sound and performance.

The collaboration led to the creation of a unique tech-based exhibit Microtonal that won the KB22 Engro Juried Art Prize.

With facilitation of the Karachi Biennale Trust and support from the British Council, Zulfiqar travelled to London in June 2023 to reunite with the Invisible Flock for the Land Body Ecologies Festival and to perform for a global audience.

He played the Borindo at the inaugural ceremony of the festival at the Wellcome Collection on June 21, while Microtonal was housed at The Crypt Gallery of the St Pancras Parish Church.