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In my work I focus on the individual as a concrete node, an intersection of abstract global and local forces. This interest springs from my own experience as an immigrant. Born in India and living in Canada, I have a relationship with two geographic regions, two physical spaces that are located on the opposite sides of the globe but overlap each other in the internal space of my body and even deeper, my mind. This duality has played a significant role in every aspect of my personal and artistic life.
I work mostly with burnt wood, oil and acrylic color, digital prints, drawings that incorporate new media - combines a synthesis of spiritual self-awareness with my diverse cultural experience. The theme mostly revolves around the human struggle for spiritual and political peace from a multicultural perspective.
My idea of revealing stretcher bars is stirred by observing Michael Asher’s signature work which involved of removing the gallery wall that divided the office from the exhibition space; thereby focussing attention on the moneymaking business behind “priceless art.” This show was exhibited at Claire Copley Gallery, LA in 1974. Unlike Asher’s critique of art market, my works, the structural support both honours and undermines; the stretcher bars, a usually unseen support, are revealed as scaffolding, perhaps the structure of the self, around and through which swirl the dynamic forces to which I refer.
In a rapidly changing world, the identities of individuals require fluidity, constant movement, remapping of everything around us, physically and psychologically. One’s identity is never an accomplished reality, but continues to be shaped and reshaped through embodied, sensual interactions with people and things, in places inhabited at different times. We are what we live and breathe. In my perspective change of identity is a process of creation, destruction, and re-creation whether it is in the physical world or the spiritual world. Through visual representations, I aim to show the tangibility, the sentient reality of changing identities.
My current work emphasises more on the non-physical evolution that highlights the material process of abolishing and renewing one’s identity. This idea originates from my observation of Hindu funeral rituals, where the body is burnt to charcoal, setting the soul or the subtle body or Jiv-Atma, free to take a new physical body or form. My art process goes through a similar cycle: an idea takes a form, develops, and is projected in a medium to create a new form, a new artwork. The process continues thereafter giving birth to a new concept which goes through the same phases of the cycle spawning a new identity each time.
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