2010 - 09
India Diary I and related projects reflect the consequences of the convergence of religion and patriarchy, class, caste and color.
An opportunity of a month-long artist residency at Khoj International residency, Kolkata, India in 2009 opened the possibility to experience and contemplate the socio-economic and gender issues in independent India. It generated a body of work and became a catalyst for future projects in 2010.
The convergence of religion - patriarchy - gender within Hinduism continued to be my core issue in 2010. Opportune timing and space at the residency at McColl Center of Art & Innovation allowed deeper studies and explorations of material. Concepts of home, un-homing, displacement, ritual and the notion of goddess - matriarchy - power were explored and realized in three installations - Echoing Forms, Her_Flowers and Candy Shop.
Much of 2011 was spent reworking the first migration series. This new body of work examines challenges of boundary crossing faced by immigrants.
“The process of migration is like a vortex with endless motions that destabilize all aspects of life” - Nikos Papastergiadis.
As the immigrant is thrown into this endless motion of adapting, learning new languages and other tools of communication, the process destabilizes/blurs/fuses the old with the new. The series Conversation explores these experiences of hybridity and instability.
Between Blurring, a suite of twenty monoprints, dimension of each print 12 H x 9 W inch.
‘Between Blurring,’ is a reflection of stories of immigrants who are frantically trying to find their way through a maze of new experiences. It tries to capture those feelings and emotions of constant learning/losing/adapting in the new home/land.
I wanted to create a work where this transformation can unfold to the viewer frame-by-frame similar to the slow-motion footage of a film. The work is made of prints manipulated from a single deeply etched plate inscribed with scripts from my native tongue Bengali, Sanskrit and English. Each print is a slight variation of the one before.
100 Squares, Floor installation, 2013, Etching and aquatint on cotton, felt, LED lights, 90 x 90 x 8 inch,
2015 - 2013
Tradition and change are conceived as opposing forces. Inflexible thinking and diehard social codes confine, entrap and inhibit freedom. The opposite and consequence of such situations is imaged as a powerful surge that overcomes such constrains.
The medium of printmaking, is itself a metaphor of ‘traditional’ thinking. It is also encumbered by too many traditional constrains. But this makes it the ideal instrument for processing and transforming these ideas.
In this body of work the ‘square’ and its features, symmetry, rigidity, confinement; ritualistic symbols and old codes as law, metaphors of the unchanging and inflexible, are erased employing cutting to create a surge of vegetal shapes, transforming the human construct of the square into organic motion.
Project_De-Code is an ongoing community outreach Project. The project engages participants to reflect on the validity of old religious codes, tradition and customs that are discriminatory and steeped in patriarchal values. Through hands-on creative activities participants are invited to erase old-codes for a personal transformative experience.
A collaborative project on forced migration - POINTS WORDS THREADS
Escalating ethnic and sectarian violence in the world at the beginning of 2004 shifted the focus of my work toward forced migration.
It was a collaboration between William Davis, a photographer and a professor of imaging at Western Michigan University, and many volunteers who helped in the making of the audio for Points Words Thread II, a collaborative video . Three installations - Points, Words Threads I & II, and Losing Dawn are knitted and handcrafted with a variety of material to embody the fear/ trauma/ sadness/ loss and death with hope and dream of life that existed within a victim of genocide. This project was made possible by Irving S. Gilmore Foundation Emerging Artist Grant through The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, MI.
Installation, Print media, Intermedia, Film