Narjis Mirza is a PhD candidate at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. She is also the recipient of the Vice Chancellors Doctoral Scholarship. Her research examines the potential of light and its metaphysical resonance with digital technologies in building the notion of reality; she takes inspiration from Muslim philosophers, most notably Mulla Sadra Shirazi and Shihab Ud Deen Suhrawardi. Narjis plans to expand the dialogue on being and reality through concept films and light installations. Narjis completed her masters’ degree in media and design at Bilkent University Ankara. Prior to beginning her Masters program, she launched an independent public art studio called that worked in collaboration with an art studio in Washington DC. Narjis also received distinction for her bachelor’s in fine arts at the National College of Arts in Pakistan. She began her career as a painter and has exhibited internationally. Her short film The Line was in the official selection of the 5th Art by Chance ultra-short film festival. Narjis is an artist, an entrepreneur and an academic; she lives and works in Auckland and Sydney.


~ Member of Substantial Motion Research Group

~ Published an article in the Journal of Performance Philosophy



Professional Experience

PhD Scholar- Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand                             2017-2021

–        Managed six art exhibitions of light and sound installations based on my practice-led doctoral research  

–        Developed and presented proposals for my installation art exhibitions to various galleries in Australia and New Zealand. Details of commissioned work and other exhibitions are listed in ‘Recent Exhibition’ section below

–        Proposal writing: developed PhD proposals for various universities and secured the Vice Chancellors doctoral scholarship in the faculty of Design and Creative Technologies at AUT, New Zealand.

–        PhD thesis of 60,000 words submitted for examination at AUT.

Teaching Artist – International Children Art festival, China                                                2016

–        Paid work for online art workshops over three sessions–coordination, collaboration, and art workshops

Intern – Digital Experience Collective, Bilgi University, Turkey                        2016

–        Worked on animations and sound design in Adobe CC and projection mapping in Madmapper.

–        Used Blender and Cinema 4D for 3D modelling of concept design.

Teaching Assistant – Deptt. of Communication, Bilkent University, Turkey          2015 – 2016

–        Studio Assistant for design and architecture studios.

–        Contributed to assignment design and project development.  

–        Invigilator

Co-founder/CEO – ArtJamz (Arts Cafe)           2014

–        Collaborated with to start a franchise in Pakistan

–        Managed leasing and the fit-outs for the commercial space

–        Organized the launch event – recruited 8 volunteers

–        Secured sponsorship from Dulux and Pepsi for Public art experience.

–        Successfully operated the venture by managing procurement for supplies, commercial transactions, and the workforce – achieved financial breakeven.

Academic Program Manager – School of Art, Design & Architecture, National University of Science &Technology, Pakistan      2012 – 2013

–        Managed coordination among full-time and adjunct faculty within the program.

–        Accountable for academic calendar, schedules, and international workshops for syllabus and co-curricular developments

–        Performed human resource management duties for all adjunct instructors, including performance reviews, payroll, and scheduling.

–        Academic liaison between the Dean, program faculty and the students.

–        Managed periodic recruitment of 4 Teaching Assistants for design studios.

–        Guest lecturer and juror for foundation year students of design studios.


PhD Arts and Design, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand               2017 – 2021

–        Recipient of Vice Chancellor’s Doctoral Scholarship

–        Held 6 exhibitions at Australian and New Zealand galleries

–        Published an article in the Performance Philosophy Journal 2019 and presented my research at 11th Internal Image conference held at the University of New South Wales, Sydney 2020.

–        Permanent Member of the Substantial Motion Research Network founded by Media Theorist Laura U. Marks.


Master of Fine Arts in Media and Design, Bilkent University, Turkey                     2014 – 2016

–        Recipient of Merit scholarship at Bilkent University

–        Teaching Assistant to Graduate Studio of Art and Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts, National College of Arts, Pakistan                                       2008 – 2012

–        Awarded pass with distinction (highest merit)


–   Graphics designing, videography, video editing, animation, and audio editing, proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud, in particular Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Adobe Audition

–    Word procession (MS-Word), spreadsheet management (MS-Excel)

–     Internet technologies for communication and collaboration

–     Projection mapping and installation art spatial design.


Kuch Khass Artist Talk in Islamabad Pakistan
MFA Thesis Exhibition at Cermodern, Ankara
MFA Thesis Exhibition at FADA Exhibition Hall Bilkent University
Bilkent Typography exhibition, Ankara
Bilkent Animation exhibition, Ankara
Bilkent Graduate Studio II Exhibition, Ankara
Screening and official selection of film in 5th ART BY CHANCE Ultra Short Film Festival Istanbul
Bilkent Graduate Studio I Exhibition, Ankara
“FRESH” Group show under 30 at Amin Gulgee Gallery Karachi
“Pastiche” Group show at National Art Gallery Islamabad
“Pastiche” Group show at Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery Lahore
Radio Show interview as young emerging artist on FM 107 Karachi
“Open Day Call” Exhibition at port grand in Karachi
Degree Show at National College of Arts
Group show at Fakhruddin Hall , Gurgan Iran.
Group show at Tehzeeb Gallery F7 Islamabad.
Group show of photography titled “ Takhleeq ” at Pakistan National Council of Arts