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Artist in Focus: Jamil Baloch

Jamil Baloch is a visual artist from Noshki, Balochistan, Pakistan. He received his early education from his hometown, after which he moved to Lahore for his higher education. He is a graduate of the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, where he currently teaches.

Jamil Baloch

Art practice

Baloch’s work narrates the impact of social and political barriers upon society. A sculptor and painter, he has worked across mediums, depicting the rich cultural heritage he belongs to; he focuses on incorporating traditional models with modernity in his art. Most of his earlier works interpret violence and cruelty born of power and mankind’s resilient efforts to survive adversity. While he embodies a lot of political context in his work, he focuses more on humankind as a whole, rather than localised struggles.

Baloch aims to on produce art that transcends artificial boundaries and often accepts inspiration from disparate sources. Consequently, his work has always explored a variety of themes presented through diverse mediums; these ideas are almost always interrelated, with a personal connection imbued in them as well.

Concept for Baloch's KB19 piece

KB19 work

His submission for the Karachi Biennale 2019 is a sculptural piece — a male head about 10 feet tall. The head is cleft into two, with a planar slice running through the middle; the cleft planes on the inside are painted in prismatic colour hues, while the outer form is painted in a dull, pitch-black tone.

Jamil Baloch's KB19 work in progress

Jamil Baloch with his KB19 piece

Previous work: Jamil Baloch's work has been showcased and lauded internationally. He has been awarded the Rangoonwala Award at the National Exhibition of Visual Arts in Karachi (2003) and received an Honourable Prize at the International Art Biennale, Bangladesh, in 2008. He has exhibited widely in Pakistan as well as in countries such as Indonesia USA, UK, UAE, France, China, Japan, India, Dubai, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. He has been an artist-in-residence in the USA and Sri Lanka.


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