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Ayaz Jokhio

Born in 1978 in Mehrabpur (Pakistan)
Lives and works in Lahore (Pakistan)

Ayaz Jokhio obtained his BFA (with distinction) from the National College of Arts, Lahore in 2001. He dissects the grammar of images with a certain intellectual logic and uses for his artistic works an amalgamation of imagery from print media, the Internet, and popular culture along with his own observations of contemporary Pakistan. Jokhio uses installation, drawing, painting, and text to pose questions about the ways in which we regard and represent our world, often also commenting on the conventions of gallery display. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Pakistan and abroad, and he has been a resident artist in Switzerland, Germany and Japan. Ayaz Jokhio teaches at the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Arts and Design, Beaconhouse National University in Lahore.

Of his work for KB17 Ayaz Jokhio writes: “I never enjoy talking about or explaining my work. It is like explaining a joke, which makes no one laugh. This is the first time that I am trying to create an art piece with puppets. Puppetry has always been there in my heart, but always like a secret crush on someone. My installation for KB is an imitation of a common classroom setting in our public schools: students sitting in rows at their desks -- but replaced by marionettes/puppets. When someone opens the door and enters the classroom, all the puppets stand up like we all do during our student life in a classroom when a teacher or an elder enters. In my work, all the puppets are connected to the door through a mechanism of strings and pulleys. So basically when someone opens the door, it pulls the strings connected to the puppets and they all stand up. And when the door closes, the puppets all sit back down again. I have not followed the advice of many of my friends to make the puppets life-size, like real children. To me, they should be smaller than life so that they can look like puppets and not like real kids. Because the whole idea is to use puppets as a metaphor for what our educational system is trying to make out of our children.”

Untitled, 2017.
Mixed media
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist