Anila Quayyum Agha, “Shimmering Mirage,” lacquered steel and halogen bulb, 36” x 36” x 36”, 2016. Installation at June Collins Smith Museum, Auburn, AL, 2021. (Photo credit: Mike Cortez)
Pakistani American artist Anila Quayyum Agha uses her many varied experiences as inspiration for her incredible installation art. She constructs intricate cubes that, when illuminated, cast beautiful Islamic patterns on all sides of the room. Not only do these precious lanterns explore the visible dynamic between light and shadow, but they also embody other polarities such as masculine and feminine, and religious and secular.
Originally from Pakistan, Anila has been living and exhibiting her art in the United States since she received her MFA from the University of North Texas. “Having lived on the boundaries of different faiths such as Islam and Christianity, and in cultures like Pakistan and USA, my art is deeply influenced by the simultaneous sense of alienation and transience that informs the migrant experience,” Agha explains to My Modern Met.