AQ Arif was born in 1975 in a family that had no connections to the art world. Only his mother was a writer who first noticed him spending countless hours drawing and painting on papers and rags he would find around the house. His mother then cultivated this interest and supported his decision to study fine arts. Arif started his academic study of fine arts at the Karachi School of Arts in 1992 and finished his final year with a 2nd position in the province of Sindh. He finished his degree in 1996 and started participating in group exhibitions all over the city of Karachi. His first big break was in 2003 at Chawkandi Gallery where his first solo exhibition was completely sold out. Since then, he has had 23 solo exhibitions around the world with countless group exhibitions. Meanwhile, he has also concentrated on teaching the students of Pakistan and has taught at Indus Valley School of Arts, Karachi School of Arts, Mashkoor School of Arts, Textile Institute of Pakistan, Iqra University, and North City School of Arts. Where he supported students to break into the art world and to begin a dialogue into bringing South-Asian art in Infront of the eyes of the mainstream. In 2014, he was awarded the International Best Artist award by Trevisan Art Gallery in Italy. His work was also part of an auction of south-Asian contemporary artists at BONHAMs auction house in 2017 where it set a new record for his work. Arif’s work is a part of many public and private collections around the world. He is currently a member of the American Impressionist Society and the Watercolor Art Society of Houston where he currently resides. In 2020 he was also awarded the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan.​​​​​​​
1996 Four-year professional Diploma in the fields of Fine Arts,
from Karachi School of Arts.
2019    ART CITI Gallery, Karachi
2017    ART CITI Gallery, Karachi
2016    ARTCITI Gallery, Karachi.
2015    Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad.
2014    Chawkandi Art Gallery Karachi.
2013    Collectors Gallery Lahore.
2012    Tanzara Art Gallery, Islamabad.
2011    Tanzara Art Gallery, Islamabad.
2010    Art Scene Gallery Karachi.
2009    Art Scene Gallery, Karachi.
2008    Art Attack, Dubai.
2007    Native Art Gallery, Lahore.
2007    Nomad Art Gallery, Islamabad.
2007    Clifton Art Gallery, Karachi.
2006    Croweaters Art Gallery, Lahore.
2006    Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore.
2005    Nomad Art Gallery, Karachi.
2004    Clifton Art Gallery, Karachi.
2003    Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi.
2002    Zainani Art Gallery, Karachi.
1998    Sheraton Hotel, Karachi.

2016    Two men Watercolor Show, Ocean Art Gallery Karachi.
2014    Two men Show, ARTCITI Gallery Karachi.
2012    Hyderabad Dakkin, India.
2012    ICAC Gallery, Bombay, India.
2012    Two men Show, Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore.
2012    Group Show, Jeddah.
2012    Group Show, Italy.
2012    Two men Show Ocean Art Gallery, Lahore.
2011    Participate in Group show Art Space, florence, Italy.
2011   Artistic Fusious from Pakistan, Singapore.
2011   New York, Expo.
2011   IVS for Usman Ghauri, Karachi.
2010   The DUST exhibition New York, ICO Gallery USA.
2010   Masqat Group Show by Ejaz Art Gallery         .
2008    Selected by Pacific Asia Museum for Himalayan Festival,
            California, U.S.A.
2008    Pakistan & Bangladesh Artist, Delhi, India.
2008    Moods of Art, Organized by Native Art Gallery,
            Pakistan and Art attack Gallery Dubai, U.A.E.
2007    South Asian / American Art Festival, Gallery Arrena 1,
            The Santa Monica Art studios, California, U.S.A.,
            Organized by Zambeel Art Gallery.
2007    Indus Strokes, Organized by Ishi Jami and
            Retu Jain in association with Taj Mahal Palace and towers,
            Mumbai, India.
2007    Gulmohar Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
2007    Throw Winds, Organized by Ishi Jami and Retu Jain, London.
2006    15 Senior Artist, Clifton Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
2006    20 Pakistani Artist Show, Hong Kong.
2006    Transcending Borders, Organized by Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore.
2006    ITC Maurya Sheraton by Ishi Jami, Delhi, India.
2006    Auction for Earthquake Victims by Ejaz Art Gallery,
            Lahore, Pakistan.
2006    Auction for Earthquake Victims by Hunerkada,
            Islamabad, Pakistan.
2006    Group Show at Louvre Art Gallery, Karachi.
2006    Work for Siratt Arts, London, United Kingdom.
2005    25 Senior Artists at Clifton Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
2004    8th National Exhibition, Lahore, Pakistan.
2001    Zainani Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
2000    Millennium Show at Ejaz Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan.
1999    Co-opera Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan.
1999    V.M. Art Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan.
1999   Urban Voice Show, Sheraton Hotel, Karachi, Pakistan.
1994    7th National Exhibition, Lahore, Pakistan.
1993    Water Color Exhibition, Arts Council, Karachi, Pakistan.

2003-2011    Textile Institute of Pakistan.
2004-2010    Karachi School of Arts, Pakistan.
2011-2012    Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture.

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