Ali Kazim was born in Pattoki, Pakistan in 1979. He received his BFA from the National College of Arts, Lahore, in 2002 and an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2011. Kazim had his first solo exhibition in Lahore in 2004, and further solo presentations in London and New York in 2006.
Kazim creates layered, textured watercolours and drawings, primarily of desolate landscapes and solitary figures. Inspired by the art and history of the Indian subcontinent, Kazim’s meticulous brushwork draws upon miniature painting techniques, capturing the finest details, for instance individual strands of hair. Kazim treats landscapes and ancient civilisations of Pakistan with the same forensic finesse and considers the ancient civilisations that once flourished in Pakistan. He documents ruins and uses clay to create objects seemingly excavated from long-buried cities.
His work has been exhibited widely in solo and group shows internationally, including Queensland Art Gallery, Queensland (2023); Deichtorhallen, Hamburg (2023); Cristea Roberts Gallery, London (2022); Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida (2022); Art Sonje Center, Seoul (2022); The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford (2022); Lahore Biennale 02, Lahore (2020); COMO Museum of Art, Lahore (2019); Karachi Biennale, Karachi (2019); 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane (2018); Lahore Biennale 01, Lahore (2018); Karachi Biennale, Karachi (2017); Office of Contemporary Art Norway, Oslo (2016); Hinterland Galerie, Vienna (2016); Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka (2016); Seoul Arts Centre, Hangaram Arts Museum, Seoul (2015); Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2015).
His work is held in public collections including British Museum, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Burger Collection, Hong Kong; Creative Cities Collection, Beijing; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi; Devi Art Foundation, Delhi; Samdani Foundation, Dhaka; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Asia Pacific Museum, California; and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
Kazim has received a number of awards and artist residencies, most recently as Oxford University's first South Asian Artist-in-Residence, which culminated in a solo exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. He is currently Assistant Professor at the National College of Arts, Lahore.
Ali Kazim lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan.