Shehr O Funn

Huma Mulji

The City of a Thousand Rebellions, 2018
Textile print, sculpture, photographs, letterpress texts and brick dust

Huma Mulji (b. 1970, Karachi, Pakistan) lives and works in Lahore.
Huma Mulji works with sculpture, photography, drawing, and painting, broadly addressing the city, and its everyday manifestations of human ambition, celebration, resistance, grief, humour, and failure. The deliberately awkward artworks imbue an anti-heroism, sometimes playing out ironically, in her works.
For LB01, an installation by the artist comprises of a textile print, sculpture, photographs, letterpress texts and brick dust. This is a work in perpetual progress based on conversations between a local bread- maker and bread-seller, Karamatullah and the artist, during the years 2010- 2015. Overall, the work captures moments in the life of the bread- seller whose livelihood succumbs to the pressures of the market and other institutional forces. Thus each element in the installation plays a role in telling a story, moving between fact and fiction, reflecting the vulnerability of the city’s inhabitants, their resilience and resistance in the face of power structures, exploitation and brutality, belief systems, exclusions, the hope and horror of human ambition and economic progress. The images speak of the simultaneity and compression of time; a utopia and dystopia, obliterating and inaugurating at once, commenting on the city’s present and past. The brick dust adheres to our feet as we walk through the installation, implicating us all, as the endangered ones and as those who have immunity, giving us equal agency, insisting we perform our roles to direct the future we live in today.
Mulji’s recent exhibitions include A Country of Last Things” (solo), Koel Gallery, Karachi, 2016; “The Great Game”, Iran Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015; “Burning Down the House”, 10th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; “Extra|Ordinary”, Dubai, 2013; “Twilight”, a solo show at Project 88, Mumbai, India, 2011; “The Rising Tide”, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, 2010; “Where Three Dreams Cross”, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, 2010. She is a Lecturer, BA Hons. Fine Art, at Plymouth College of Art, UK.

Lahore Biennale Foundation