LAHORE The inaugural ceremony of Lahore Biennale 01 (LB01) was held at Hazori Bag on Saturday. People from different walks of life, artists, top officials of government, business community, celebrities and fashion industry and media persons were present on tthe occassion. The event aims at presenting Lahore as a platform for dynamic exhibitions and engagement space for audience. It also aims to celebrate creativity, foreground diversity, foster coexistence and participation in addition to promoting inclusiveness. The event was addressed among others by Director LB01 Qudsia Rahim, Amna Naqvi co-founder of AAN Foundation, Ali Naqvi, Co-Chair of LBF Osman Khalid Waheed, Saleema Hashmi, Kamran Lashari, Mohsin Hamid, Additional Secretary Information and Culture Saman Rai, Planning and Development Board Chairman Muhammad Jahanzeb. Pace Pakistan Ltd Chairperson Aamna Taseer, HSY and other renowned personalities were also present on the occasion. Lifetime achievement award was given to artist Salima Hashmi for her services and efforts. Speaking on the occasion, LB01 Director Qudsia Rahim said that she is proud to present the inaugural edition of the Lahore Biennale, the flagship event for LBF planned to be held every two years. Historically, Lahore has been one of the capitals of arts, culture and letters, a city of gardens and monuments. Today, the city is home to prominent artists, cultural practitioners, music gharanas and art institutions, she added. She further said that considering Pakistan lacks spaces such as museums of contemporary art to showcase such work on a sustained basis, one of the aims of the Biennale is to create this exposure for local audiences, and to enrich conversation and dialogue within the local, and global art scene. The biennale has engaged multiple curatorial voices, and has a dedicated academic advisor and a dedicated publications advisor. Working with the advisors of the LBF, our team has developed a program in which the city of Lahore emerges as a point of complex focus, and as a node of exchange between the region, and the rest of the world. Keeping in line with the very active public arts mandate of the Lahore Biennale Foundation, segments and projects within LB01 have been developed with the city’s various organizations, institutions, and individuals, harnessing various public resources and being shaped by them. Mohsin Hamid said, “We are doing something extraordinary today. We are participating in the public creation and display of art.” Other speakers while addressing the participants said that it would be a colourful event for Lahoriites and art lovers that is going to be held first time in the city of the garden. We hoped that all of the visitors will enjoy the rich event with fully loaded with a diversity of contemporary artwork and the voices of curators and scholars, they said. They further said that in order to address the dynamics of public engagement in the arts, LB01 will test the parameters of ‘art and public’ and contextualise this relation within the specificities of Lahore and in a global context. For this purpose, the LB01 will develop art in public spaces and public programs along with opportunities for critical thinking and practice in its academic forum. They further said that Lahore constitutes a rich and complex urban site for artistic intervention. Published in Daily Times, March 18th 2018.