Hamra Abbas’s work draws upon widely accepted traditions, often in a playful manner. By appropriating culturally loaded imagery and iconography, and transforming them into new works that can be experienced spatially and temporally, she creates new platforms from which to view notions of cultural ownership, tradition, exchange and power. Hamra Abbas is the 2011 winner of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, she was awarded a Jury prize at the Sharjah Biennial 9: Provisions for the Future. Her work is included in Aluminium, 4th International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Baku, Azerbaijan, the International Artist’s Workshop of the 2nd Thessaloniki Biennial and the 2nd International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, Korea (2009). Her work was included in the Guangzou Triennial (2008), the 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007), the Biennale of Sydney (2006), and the Cetinje Biennial, (2004).
Abbas’ work has been exhibited at V&A Museum, London, ARTIUM de Álava, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, ifa Gallery, Berlin; and the Manchester Art Gallery, UK. Her work Read is currently at display at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is also part of the exhibition Hanging Fire at Asia Society Museum, New York; and Everyday Miracles (Extended) at Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco Art Institute and at REDCAT, LA. She has been awarded residencies and scholarships by institutions such as Vermont Studio Center, the Triangle Arts Trust, VASL and DAAD. Hamra received her BFA and MA in Visual Arts at the National College of Arts, Lahore before going on to the Universitaet der Kuenste in Berlin in 2004 where she received the Meisterschueler. She is one of the 2011 winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. Hamra Abbas lives and works between Boston and Islamabad, but is currently based in New York.