The Lahore Biennale Foundation in partnership with Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA), today revealed a list of 16 participating artists and seven new commissions of artists who are from the city or have strong connections to Lahore for an upcoming billboard project, running from November 24 to December 7. Curated by Qudsia Rahim, Executive Director of the Lahore Biennale Foundation, Zinda -dil-a’an-e-Lahore – Billboard Project. Sixteen practitioners are invited to participate whose practices we believe to have strong social relevance and are rightly suited to lead this project and to bring the message of hope and to pay homage to the city and its citizens – a reminder of the humanity that holds it together. The participating artists are Shah Abdullah, Hamra Abbas, Ajaz Anwar, Naazish Ata Ullah, Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Salima Hashmi, Ayesha Jatoi, Ali Kazim, Asif Khan, Atif Khan, Saba Khan, Waqas Khan, Imran Qureshi, Wardha Shabbir and Masooma Syed. With a focus on the city and its residents, the project is a response to the prevailing Covid-19 situation. “This project is an awareness campaign to interest people towards the concept of contemporary art which is largely missing in our environment. The idea is to also attract the audience, largely unaware of contemporary arts”, said Qudsia Rahim, curator of the project and Executive Director of the Lahore Biennale Foundation. “These billboards are to be seen by passersby, transitory traffic – in an engaging and lively manner. We invite the viewers to review these works and create their own meanings through their observations.” The locations for the project include both areas with a rich history like Bhatti gate and Garhi Shahu and relatively contemporary urban spaces like Gulberg, DHA, Jail Road, Kot Lakh Pat, Faisal Town, Wapda Town, Karim Block Allama Iqbal Town and Johar Town. The curator, Qudsia Rahim added that “Zinda-dil-a’an-e-Lahore is a unique partnership between an art’s organization, local government and the corporate sector to introduce a wider audience to contemporary art(s): a dialogue largely missing in our environment”. She said, “LBF will be seeking to hold similar events in the near future so that there is wider acceptance of arts with the public as well as private sector which is largely missing. The Foundation hopes to create more avenues and opportunities for contemporary and public art and it is important for such early projects to create a positive energy and strengthen our relationship with the institutions on the ground”. Director Marketing PHA, Syedah Ramallah Ali added, “Art and painting have no boundaries or limitations. The skyline of Lahore is an available canvas to display art. This collaboration aims to reinvigorate the spirit of Art and culture across Lahore.” Mr. Sultan Ali Allana, Chairman HBL commented, “HBL’s commitment to encouraging more public spaces for art is demonstrated through this project. Now, people of Pakistan, and indeed the world will be able to engage with Pakistani contemporary art, thus sparking imagination and reflection, which we hope will open doors to new horizons. This partnership with LBF has provided us with the opportunity to bring to the people all over the magical works of our foremost contemporary artists.” Renowned artist and a participant of the project said, “The year 2020 is a ‘pause’ in time for me, as I believe it is for the whole world. As if there is a momentary pause that will ‘play’ in time once this pandemic is over. I used the text with two vertical lines below it referencing the symbol for ‘pause’ against an image of scrim or ‘malmal’/chaddar fabric which I have used earlier in my work as a metaphor for oppression.” Other partners of the project include Habib Bank Limited and Kinetic Pakistan.