Karkhana: A Contemporary Collaboration

Karkhanas were first established in the 14th century as art and artisan collectives to produce textiles, weaponry and other objects for South Asian sultanates, particularly of the Mughal empire.

This project, initiated and organized by Pakistani painter Muhammad Imran Qureshi, was inspired by the cooperative nature of miniature painting in those courts. In 2003, when Qureshi, along with five other Pakistani painters — Aisha Khalid, Hasnat Mahmood, Nusra Latif Qureshi, Talha Rathore and Saira Wasim — began work on 12 paintings. Each artist initiated two pieces on wasli (rag paper), and then sent the paintings by courier in succession to the other five artists in the group, each of whom applied a layer of imagery, marks or other processes. The series of 12 miniatures that resulted represent a remarkable experiment in avant-garde collaboration. Solo works by the six artists provide comparisons between individual and collective efforts. 

This catalogue accompanied the Asian Art Museum's 2006 exhibition Karkhana: A Contemporary Collaboration, and includes an essay by the museum's curator of South Asian art, Qamar Adamjee.

 Additional information:

  • Editor: Hammad Naser
  • Size: 9.8" x 11.4"
  • Pages: 112
  • Hardcover
  • Publication: 2005