Asia Art Archive’s (AAA) aim is to serve as a catalyst for new ideas that enrich our understanding of the world through the collection, creation, and sharing of knowledge around recent art of Asia. With one of the most valuable growing collections of material on recent histories of art from Asia, freely available on their website and onsite library, AAA builds tools and communities to collectively expand knowledge through research, residency, and educational programs. AAA’s Research Collections consist predominantly of digitized primary source material, including photographs, letters, writing, ephemera, and video documentation. To date, the collections contain more than 64,000 records.
The $25,000 grant will allow AAA to organize and digitize the archive of Zahoor ul Akhlaq, one of Pakistan’s best-known and most influential artists. Akhlaq attended the newly established National College of Arts in Lahore, where he studied with foundational modernist Shakir Ali and later became a teacher and mentor to younger artists. An early experimenter in installation and sculptural forms, Akhlaq is perhaps most famous for his work exploring pictorial space and flatness in paintings and prints, combining a keen awareness of abstraction and artistic modernism with the traditions of calligraphy and miniature painting. The grant will also support a Research Fellow to study Akhlaq’s work through the archive-in-formation.