Thin Cities 12 (cube)
Plaster of Paris, hydrocal, paper residue
For Unum Babar over the past years, the ‘Home’ in all its capacities has been a space of exploration which has been carried forward simultaneously with an interest in the melding of boundaries between media. The works blur the distinctions between sculpture, drawing, photography and video, refusing to be labeled as one or the other. The concern with the qualities attached to each medium has been equal to those of the discovery of the nuances of the home space, which takes its form sometimes as protective and other times as constrictive.
Babar’s latest body of work, Thin Cities, focuses specifically on the memory of home, living in a foreign land. It attempts to pack memories into travel-sized objects, ready to be boxed up and shipped to new spaces that will soon become their replacements. Terrified lest she forgets, Babar fossilizes her memories by solidifying drawings of her hometown, Lahore, creating the illusion of a mini city, of which Thin Cities 12 (cube) is a part of. Stripped of all color and bearing the residue of the materiality of the original paper, this sculptural-drawing talks of the permanent scar-like imprint home leaves on the mind of the traveller, withstanding the inevitable erasure of most memories over time.
Unum Babar’s work spans across many different media, from video installation to drawing. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with work in collections including the Devi Art Foundation in Delhi. She received her BFA with distinction and a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Education from Beaconhouse National University in Lahore and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston as a Fulbright Scholar. Babar is currently visiting faculty at Beaconhouse National University and lives and works in Lahore.
Photo Credits | Matt Kushan