Skip to content
Saba Qizilbash - Artists - Aicon Art 2024


Born 1977 in Lahore, Pakistan.
Lives and works in Dubai, UAE.

Drawn to the eerie silence of international borders, lines of control, and hostile fencing in general, Saba Qizilbash imagines these locations as witnesses to night vision activities, forced deportations, and bureaucratic holdups. Qizilbash is no stranger to lines drawn across maps, erupting in violence, creating distance beyond the geographical. Her journeys between India and Pakistan have been frequent with her children in tow, trying to adapt to shifting scenarios and contested world views. Abandoned railway systems, floating water barriers, scant structures with no seating, overgrown grass weaving through razor-wire fences – these structures appear post-human in her work – devoid of any designated places to rest and sleep. The artworks take on and transcend the functions of a relic, rendered in a scale that is commemorative and personal yet pensive and somber.

Saba Qizilbash was born in Lahore in 1977. She grew up in Abu Dhabi, UAE and later moved back to Pakistan. She graduated from the National College of Art (NCA) with a BFA degree in Painting.


The same year, she went to Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the idyllic coast of Oregon on an artist residency. She spent the following year in San Francisco collaborating with local artists. She later enrolled in Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), graduating in 2004 with an MA degree in Art Education. It was at RISD that Saba was introduced to Curriculum Development and Community Programming under the guidance of Dr Paul Sproll.


She has designed and facilitated a number of workshops for the marginalized in Lahore, Sheikhupura, New Delhi, Dubai and Rhode Island. At present, she teaches at the American University in Dubai and maintains a fulltime studio. Her works have been showcased in Lahore, Karachi, Dubai, Srinagar, San Francisco, L.A, Florida and Providence.