Biennale of Sydney

Huma Bhabha

Huma Bhabha, left to right: The Past is a Foreign Country, wood, cork, Styrofoam, acrylic, oil stick, wire, skull, shredded tyre tread; Waiting for Another Game, 2018, cork, Styrofoam, wood, acrylic, oil stick; God of Some Things, 2011, bronze with patina; edition 3 of 3, 2 APs; installation view, 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2020, image courtesy the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia © the artist, photograph: Ken Leanfore

Huma Bhabha

Born 1962 in Karachi, Pakistan
Lives and works in Poughkeepsie, New York


Huma Bhabha’s work addresses themes of colonialism, war, displacement, and memories of place. Using found materials and the detritus of everyday life, she creates haunting human figures that hover between abstraction and figuration, monumentality and entropy. While her formal vocabulary is distinctly her own, Bhabha embraces a post-modern hybridity that spans centuries, geography, art-historical traditions and cultural associations. Her work includes references to ancient Greek kouroi, Ghandharan buddhas, African sculpture and Egyptian pharaohs. At the same time, it remains insistently modern, looking to Giacometti, Picasso and Dubuffet for inspiration, as well as the artwork of Louise Bourgeois, A.R. Penck, Georg Baselitz and David Hammons. Sci-fi, horror movies, current events and popular novels similarly find their way into her narratives.

Exhibited Artwork

Huma Bhabha, Waiting for Another Game, 2018, cork, Styrofoam, wood, acrylic, oil stick. Presentation at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney was made possible with assistance from the U.S. Consulate General Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York

Photograph: Huma Bhabha, Waiting for Another Game, 2018, installation view, 22nd Biennale of Sydney: NIRIN, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2020, cork, Styrofoam, wood, acrylic, oil stick, image courtesy the artist and Museum of Contemporary Art Austral

Location: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia