Anum jamals

Impressive body of work by ANUM JAMAL
11 – 27 AUG 2016

Anum Jamal received her Bachelors in Fine Art from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 2012 and was the recipient of the Zahoor ul Akhlaq Award for Best Drawing Portfolio, after which she received her Masters in Contemporary Art Practices from Coventry School of Art and Design in 2015, both degrees with overall distinctions.

She had her first solo show in Althorpe Galleries in UK in March 2016. Her works have also been showcased in several group shows in UK, USA, Italy and Pakistan, most notably The Young Masters Art Exhibition in Cynthia Corbett Gallery (UK), The Salon Presents ETA (UK) and in Pursukoon Karachi (Pakistan). Her selected works have also been auctioned at Christies Auction House, Dubai, and Paddle8 Auction House in London.

Apart from exhibitions, Anum is part of an international artist group called The Salon, with whom she has exhibited and produced collaborative works. She was also chosen as one of the few artists to work on a collaborative public art project titled The Domino Run with a performance for Coventry Mysteries. Recently, she was invited by her alma mater Coventry School of Art and Design to present a talk to the current MFA students, in which she discussed Art and Culture.

Currently she is teaching at her alma mater Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.


“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe

A city is a conceptual entity, shaped by the various incidents, stories and anecdotes that flavor it towards being a unique place to reside in.

This body of work is the culmination of my dérive. It is the germination of my regular routes around cities (Karachi, Pakistan and Coventry, UK), documenting the nature of the inhabitants as well as the nature of the routes and the pathways. The directions assigned on the roads coax one to take a certain route, thus proving the fact that cities are not only built to suit the system, but the directions cajole the public to function in a certain way. It resulted in the mental and physical documentation of fragments of various structures.

However, the outcome is not an ‘actual’ journey within the city; rather the demarcation of the journey is represented by the QR codes created from the written descriptions of the people whom I encounter daily. These individuals are all strangers to me. However, I see them almost daily while out in the city and each of these strangers has something unique that needed to be highlighted. The physiognomic nature of these writings disconnects them from their emotive aspects, yet just their physical descriptions make one feel comfortable to get to know them. Thus the ‘utopian maps’ that I created, have germinated from the people. These individuals are the architecture of the city.

Furthermore, the grid like nature of the QR codes lends similarity to the grid like nature of the city’s development. With the addition of structures or other similar elements to create these codes, I tried to disable the autocratic nature of the grid, which is so evident in urban architecture. Hence these QR codes are miniature cities in which individuals reside.