Public Art Thriving in Urban Chaos
As the innovator of the Reel On Hai project, and as Chairperson Outreach Committee for the Karachi Biennale Trust, I was fully involved in the implementation of the cable reel project. As my committee members and I progressed with the execution of each reel artwork the understanding of the enormity of task involving the upkeep of these artworks without help from the government set in. One of the reel artworks was vandalized days after the launch. I realized at this stage how important it was to document each monument and each public intervention in the city.
It was with the intent of documenting and preserving the existing public art in a book, that I got a grant from I AM Karachi, to curate a book on Public Art in Karachi.
As a city that has witnessed unprecedented violence and unplanned growth and expansion, Karachi has lost many of its public spaces. The little Public Art that existed has been demolished owing to the need for civic expansion, or has found its way to Municipal storehouses and private collections.
As I progressed with research towards this book, I realized that many of the artworks that had disappeared had left such a strong legacy that the area was still known by the name of the work.
Like Mukka Chowk, Allahwali Chowrangi and Submarine Chowrangi.
In the book I have covered most private initiatives toward public art and art that the general public has access to.