Abdullah Ahmed Khan (Sanki King)
on Saturday 16 November 2019 at 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
the Exhibition will continue till 30 November 2019
From 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (Mon – Sat)
Suite # 102, 1st floor Clifton Centre. Schon Circle, Clifton,
Karachi – Pakistan.
Over 3 years in the making; this show is inspired by a drawing that I made in late 2010 which I titled “Inside Me”. Right before I produced the drawing I was going through a lot, both emotionally & mentally; one day I felt a debilitating burst of energy inside of me, as if something on the inside was pushing to come out and I, in a trance like state, started drawing immediately and after 3 days, as if waking up from a dream, I had the finished drawing in front of me. It felt like the creative forces inside of me had used my body as a vehicle, as a tool, to find their way out and express themselves. The therapeutic and cathartic affect that that experience had on me has stayed with me since then; it opened new doors in my consciousness and strengthened the bridge between my inner world and my artistic expression which has only continued to grow stronger to bear heavier loads year after year.
These works are the result of constant experimentation, pushing the boundaries of my vision & skills, conversations & battles with my inner demons, fighting against the fragility of my human body, constantly journeying into my inner abyss and consciously letting the forces inside of me, use me as a vehicle to express themselves every time I feel an inner situation wants to come out and reveal itself. What you will witness is a brief collection of the voices, images, colors, symbols, energies & situations that have emerged out of the abyss so far; a glimpse of what I carry inside me. I create art not because I see it as a “profession” or something that I “do for a living” and I am also not trying to achieve anything; I am cursed and blessed with an uncontrollable urge to create which at this point of my life I can physically feel inside me just like I can feel my tongue in my mouth; I create art out of an inner necessity.
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
– Gospel of Thomas, verse 70
Abdullah Ahmed Khan known as Sanki King is a world-renowned Pakistani artist who is widely known as the pioneer of Graffiti, Calligraffiti (calligraphy+graffiti), Sneaker Art, Sticker Art & Bboying in Pakistan. Born in 1990, Sanki first found interest in the hip hop culture at the age of 10 and started practicing rap, DJ-ing, bboying & beatboxing. By the age of 12 he became interested in calligraphy & shortly started practicing graffiti which he then painted on sneakers, apparel and started doing private commissions. Since 2012, King has produced some of the largest solo-artist works of graffiti in Pakistan and has created work in seven different languages. In 2012 & 2015, Sanki was inducted into two of the most well-known & well-respected graffiti crews in the world and is by far the only Pakistani artist to be a member of; BMK – Beyond Mankind Krew (founded 1991, Queens, NYC) and Ex-Vandals – Experienced Vandals (founded 1979, Brooklyn, NYC), which is one of the first graffiti crews in the world.
With no formal training in art, King entered the contemporary art world in 2016 with a successful solo show in Karachi at Sanat Gallery and since then has been an Abraaj Art Prize 2017 nominee; a part of the prestigious Imago Mundi Project Pakistan by Luciano Benetton Foundation in Italy; a part of several group exhibitions & projects in Karachi & Mumbai; has given multiple TEDx talks; taught briefly as an adjunct professor at Habib University as the first-ever artist to teach graffiti & street art in a university in Pakistan; became a key artist for the 1st Karachi Biennale in 2017; have his work in several prestigious local & international art collections and will be presenting his work in the upcoming Asuncion Biennale (Bienal Internacional de Asuncion) in Paraguay, in March 2020.
King’s artistic practice derives its inspiration from his personal experiences, a deep-seated love for nature, abstract expressionism, textual structure, linguistics, hieroglyphs, alchemical symbolism, philosophy, analytical psychology, history & religion. “Inside Me” is Sanki’s 2nd solo show, the first being “You Should Know Him by Now” (2016) at Sanat Gallery. The artist lives & works in Karachi.