Samar F Zia

Samar F. Zia’s practice is informed by myth, religion, science and technology, particularly biotechnology, punctuated with elements of fantasy and anthropomorphism. It is a culmination of the last ten years of work and derives from personal experience, memory and her imaginations from when she was a child.

Trained as a painter and Miniaturist, Zia’s art is constantly evolving owing to her desire to experiment with material and media. 

Her visuals express concerns regarding creation/production, both natural and unnatural while addressing the use and abuse of nature and animals to satiate human curiosity, consumption, and insecurity. Her research lent a humorous feel to her art, leading her to elevate the realm of biotechnology to the level of religion, creating deities out of hybrid animals.

Zia has exhibited in Pakistan and the UK.  She is also an independent curator and art critic.

CV and Exhibitions

Born 1983


2013      MAFA, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, UK

2007     BFA, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Pakistan

Selected Exhibitions 

2019   Adeste Fideles, A Christmas Show, Barbican Arts Group Trust, London

2019    Small is Beautiful, Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pk

2018   ArtWorks Open 2018, Barbican Arts Group Trust, London, UK
Mapping the Human Brain, The Old Biscuit Factory, London, UK
Radical Social Change, Fringe Arts Bath (FaB), Bath, UK

2017   Bahishti Cultures, Solo Exhibition, Fitzrovia Chapel, London, UK

2014   Reinforcement, Khaas Art gallery, Islamabad, Pk

2014   Mixed Media Exhibition, Candid Arts Trust, London, UK

2013   Rough Around the Edges, Hanmi Gallery, London, UK
Secrets, Enigma
s and Puzzles, Open Arts Café, West London Synagogue,

Show 1,
MA FA Degree Show, London,UK

2012    On being different and same at the same time, London, UK

2012    Attaining heights, V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi, PK

2012    MA Fine Art Interim show, V22, LondonM, UK

2011    Once upon a wintertime, Hackney Downs Studios, London,UK 

Reinforcement, solo show, Canvas gallery, Karachi, PK

2010   Bits and pieces, KSA Gallery, Karachi, PK

2009   Dear Diary show, Poppy Seed Gallery, Karachi, PK

2009   Two person show, Khaas Art gallery, Islamabad, PK  
Faculty 4, IVS Gallery, Karachi, PK 

2008    Group Performance, Sunday Bazaar- The Museum of Non-Participation, Brad Butler and Karen  Mirza, Karachi, PK 

2008  Alumni Show 1, Collaborative Video installation, IVS Gallery, Karachi, PK  

2008  Alumni Show 1, IVS Gallery, Karachi, PK

Collaborative Performance, Vasl Artist-in-resident Monali Meher, Karachi, PK

2008   Karara 1, Grandeur Arts, Karachi, PK
Emerging Talent, V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi, PK 

2008   Group Show, Rohtas 1, Islamabad, PK

2007    Group Show, Commune Gallery, Karachi, PK

Selected Reviews 

April 2014 Reinforcement, Youlin magazine

April 2014 Reinforcement – Maryam Usman, Express Tribune
January 2014 Rough Around the Edges-Zahra Khan,
ArtNow Contemporary Art of Pakistan

May 2013, UAL Talent: Samar Zia- Naz K Rasmussen, ALN

Nov/Dec 2011 Review Reinforcement-Allison White, Art Asia Pacific

Jan 2010 Dear Diary–A new art exhibition to look out for, Karachi Metblogs

May 2010  The Sound of Fury-Dawn Newspaper

April 2009  Breaking boundaries in search of Identity, TheNews

April 2009 Works of two artists on display at Khaas–Dawn

Aiugust 2008 Refreshingly Green-Karara Exhibition-Business Recorder Karachi

October 2008 Strokes to ponder-LuavatZahid, The News International

March 2008 Budding ArtistsWork Par Excellence–Dawn Newspaper

March 2008 Young Artists Work Go on Display at Rohtas Today-Daily Times

December 2007 Who Am I? Ask Fine Arts Students at the Indus Valley School–The News

December 2007 Show Stopper: The Indus Valley Thesis Degree Opens with 4 Years of Hard Work–Daily Times

Community Projects and Awards

2020     Celebrating Creatives, Creative Women’s Showcase, Riding House Hall,  London

2018     Camels Project, Book launch and Art exhibition, Fitzrovia Community Centre, London, UK. 

2016      Artist-in-Residence, Fitzrovia Community Centre, London, UK

2010      Donation, Digital Drawing, DIL New York

2007      Distinction in Thesis, BFA, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture

2007     Workshop: pigment making, Miniature painting, Jaipur, India.

2006     First Prize, Naqsh Art Gala, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute, Pakistan

2006     Mural Painting, Lady Dufferin Hospital, NGO Aura, Pakistan 

2005      Prop construction, Tehrik-e-Niswan Theatre troupe, Karachi

Work Experience 

2014-present freelance writer, publications Dawn Newspaper and Youlin Magazine
2018    Poster, Uff Girl, Fashion film

2017-2018  Associate Artist, Fitzrovia Centre, London

2017   Co-Director, Uff Girl, Fashion film. Formulating Art Program/activities, After-school Arts Club, Fitzrovia Centre, London

2016    Arts program, Teeny Turners, Fitzrovia Centre, London

2015    Author Review, Undoing / Ongoing, Herald Pakistan, November issue. Published 05th November

2013    Independent curator, Rough Around the Edges, Hanmi Gallery, London

2012    Tour guide, Hayward gallery, London

2011    Happy hands – Arts and crafts books, Research, Artwork, Concept and Design

2009-10 The Rising Tide, Visiting Assistant Curator, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi.

2010   Birth of Pakistan, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi

2009   The Emperors New Clothes, Collaboration with Naiza H. Khan,Talwar Gallery, New York.

2008- 2010   Visiting Faculty, Fine Art Department, Indus Valley school of Art and Architecture