The contemporary art scene in Pakistan is generally mindful of this rich and highly diversified cultural resource which distinguishes it in South Asia hence leading to an international recognition and acknowledgement over the last three decades. While appreciating this accomplishment, we must build upon the valuable contributions of our artists and launch a local platform that is cognizant of indigenous this cultural resource and blessed with a future vision to become a catalyst in bridging the gap between the potent Pakistani art and its deserved realization internationally.

ISLAMABAD ART FEST 2019 is a multi-disciplinary platform to extend an aesthetic dialogue across cultures involving all possible strands of visual and performing art including architecture and cinema.

IAF-19 is a project of Pakistan National Council of the Arts and Hunerkada College of Visual & Performing Art, lead consortium of NAAP and institutions committed to the promotion and propagation of art and culture.

ISLAMABAD ART FEST 2019 is being co curated by Jamal Shah along with a curatorial team of distinguished professionals from visual and performing art.

IAF-19 aims to bring Pakistan’s vibrant young art scene and its innovative and energetic spirit in close contact with International artistic activity to explore cross fertilization of ideas, concerns and challenges. The platform will invite artists of consequence from diverse cultural backgrounds, creative disciplines and outlooks for a novel and multi-disciplinary aesthetic encounter and exploration of its thematic focus.




The overarching thematic focus of ISLAMABAD ART FEST 2019 is “Esthetic encounter between Tradition and Modernity”. This will be explored across cultures and identities in an inclusive way, thinking about both differences and similarities. IAF-19 would specifically probe the question of IDENTITY through following manifestations of the curatorial theme;

1. Indigenous vocabulary and contemporary expression.

2. Crush on Modernity, affair with Classicism and Romance with romanticism

3. Identity and Contemporary challenges

4. My tradition verses your modernity

IAF-19 will invite 100 Pakistani and 30 regional and International artists to Islamabad to interpret and articulate the curatorial themes through their chosen genre and media. These artists will further engage practicing artists directly in various workshops and academic discourses.

The 15 day long IAF-19 (Islamabad Art Fest 2019) will be hosted in several locations in Islamabad engaging an audience of 500,000 individuals from diverse backgrounds and ages. The event will feature artists from at least ten international locations as well as 100 Pakistani Artists representing all regions. The core theme will have far-reaching socio-economic and cultural impact of the Art Fest and achieve the following;

Goals and Objectives

  • Introducing new Art forms and practices through International Artists
  • Broaden public access to Art
  • Development of pedagogic framework of Art Education in Pakistan involving Educational institutions and policy makers
  • Providing a platform for niche intellects, creative pioneers, budding artists and the general public
  • Fostering relationships through Cultural dialogue and exchange of ideas
  • Promoting the cultural significance of Islamabad and surroundings
  • Renovating and creating public Art spaces
  • Promoting and supporting creative entrepreneurship and using art to empower the communities and create economic opportunity.
  • Tackling gender inequality by supporting and encouraging female Artists
  • Strengthening people-to-people ties and enhance the level of creative engagement through cultural, educational, professional and academic exchanges.
  • Strengthening means of sharing relevant information, professional experiences, exchange of ideas and technical expertise between professionals of art and culture.
  • Strengthen local cultural institutions to build long-term, self-sustaining relationships and institutional linkages between Pakistani and International organizations, including capacity building and support for Pakistani organizations in the field of Visual Art, Music, Dance, Theatre and Cinema.
  • To contribute to the growth of creative economy and development of government’s capacity in the realm of art and culture in Pakistan while building people-to-people ties.
  • To enhance people’s engagement through aesthetic forms of association that enhance social cohesion in a wide range of areas.
  • To demonstrate shared values, which builds respect and trust and increases effective communication.


  • The event will take place in November 2019 and the selected artists will arrive in Pakistan 4 weeks ahead of inauguration to execute site specific projects requiring elaborate arrangements which may include installations, intricate displays, dance, music or theatrical performances, cross-disciplinary collaborative works and screenings at multiple venues in and around Islamabad. Artists will also be provided access to listed structures including important heritage sites of great historic value such as Gandhara sites at Taxila or Rohtas Fort, Kathas Raj, Arts and Crafts village, Lok Virsa, Open Air theatre, Pak China Culture centre, F-9 Park and local Institutions/private galleries but the main venue will be PNCA.
  • IAF-19 (Islamabad Art Fest 2019) will energize the Pakistani art scene and encourage local art enthusiasts and visitors from abroad to visit the country and benefit from the ideas and art of the participating artists. It will provide people the opportunity for aesthetic encounters with the works of local and international artists through exhibits, interactive workshops, talks, performances, educational activities, seminars and guided visits, with the participation of a growing number of schools from the federal region and beyond.
  • IAF-19 will also engage the children and youth in aesthetic activities. Around 30,000 teachers and 300,000 pupils from twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi will be indirectly involved in IAF-19 (Islamabad Art Fest 2019) whereas the event will also be experienced by a big number of students and general public from Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and other cities from all over Pakistan taking the numbers of indirect beneficiaries to 500,000.
  • These activities will be supported by the Islamabad and Rawalpindi Metropolitans and Chambers of Commerce. Cooperation with art institutions, universities and research institutes for making special tours at the exhibitions have also been established. More opportunities for research and production will be provided to the younger generation of artists. They will be in direct contact with recognized professionals which should make networking more systematic in Visual art, Dance, Theatre, Music, and Cinema. These local artists will be further engaged in a series of workshops all over the country in districts, towns, cities in all provinces.IAF-19 will be catalogued comprehensively with information on each participating artist along with detailed documentation of their projects and outcome of the event. Books, reports and catalogues and a Culture Curriculum for schools will be published and films on various visual art, theatrical, musical, dance projects and artists will be made.




Curtain Raiser

The project will be launched in a befitting ceremony in Islamabad 30 days ahead of the commencement of IAF-19. The ceremony will take place at PNCA in the presence of Artists, Ministers, diplomats, dignitaries and media (National/ International) followed by a robust media campaign.


Briefing of Pakistani Participants

Two days before the start of IAF-19, all participating artists and the entire IAF-19 team will meet in Islamabad for a briefing.



IAF-19’s significant activities on all locations will engage artists in creative exchange of

ideas among themselves, and Interact with local visual artists, artisans, musician, dancers, folklorists and general public at important stop overs. The group will conduct focus group workshops, interact with relevant groups and perform with their counterparts from all fields including leading artists and local talent. The purpose of these creative encounters is developing a deeper understanding of the local art forms and transform them into new and exciting works of art.






  • Shows including performances, Installations, videos, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, talks and  seminars will take place in Islamabad and around Islamabad and tours to all focal areas will be arranged.
  • A series of workshops, talks and seminars as integral part of IAF-19 to document, preserve and promote a cross cultural and artistic dialogue.
  • A series of cultural shows, musical concerts, dance recitals, excursion trips to the scenic Murree/ Swat valley, official and private dinners will be organized in honour of Participating artists and delegates.
  • A book based on the IAF-19 experience and catalogues will be launched and distributed.
  • A feature length documentary narrating the story of the IAF-19 from inception till the end of the project along with short films and videos will be among the creative products to share with people and institutions.




PNCA will host an International Academic Seminars on the history & culture. PNCA will encourage artistic and academic resources to contribute their research and theories on the given topics of IAF-19


• Digital Resources for Creative & Cultural Education

• Interactive Mobile/Computer Apps and Games

• Interactive Mobile/Computer Apps & Games for children

• Art & Culture Digital Literacy Resource Book for Teachers

• Kids Cultural Caravan – Booklet

• Virtual Reality 360 video tour

• Wallpapers, Browser Themes, and Mobile GUI Themes

• International Creative Youth Contest

• Youth contest would be organized for maximum participation of youth.






  • Musical Performances-During IAF-19
  • Mega Music Performances in Post- IAF-19 events
  • DVDs CDs & Digital release of Music albums
  • Originally recorded high quality folk songs, audio Documentation of indigenous music and musical instruments
  • Learning Workshops for Local Artists & Young Students
  • Music Videos – co released by PNCA & Lead Sponsor
  • Music thematic Blog posts by professional content writers
  • Virtual Reality 360 Music Videos for VR Galleries and Online VR Platforms
  • Lectures Pro-Talks by senior artists & academic scholars
  • Fusions of different types of local/folk music and world music.



  • Feature Length Cinema Grade Documentary Film on IAF-19
  • Cinema Grade Documentary Film on IAF-19
  • Films to be produced by IAF-19 Leading Artists
  • VR360 Musical journey Documentary Film, unfolding all colours of IAF-19 through virtual reality technology.
  • Artists profiles
  • Short videos
  • Daily Video Bulletins of IAF-19



  • Workshops /Art Talks on Visual Arts/Craft in different schools, Colleges and universities.
  • Creative outputs i.e. paintings, sculptures, murals and new media art to be produced by young artists and exhibitions showcasing and visited by guest artists.
  • Development of Arts and Culture educational resources (illustrated booklets) for children and youth.



  • Public Dance and theatre Performances during the IAF-19
  • Interactive Dance and theatre Workshops.
  • Dedicated blogging posts on dance and theatre.
  • VR360 Dance & Music Videos of Folk and contemporary dances of Pakistan.
  • Fusion Performances by visiting and Pakistani dancers/theatre performers.
  • Video documentation of folk dance and theatre forms of Pakistan.