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,
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,
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,
2006 Auction for Earthquake Victims by Hunerkada,
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.