I can not believe it has been over a week since we packed up already. My very first solo exhibition in Mumbai was at Jehangir Art Gallery from 13th to 19th November 2018.
Last year, I participated in the INDEX Fair in Mumbai. The response my artwork received during the fair was very positive, and I was suggested to exhibit at a gallery next time.
When Australia Fest gave me the opportunity to exhibit at Jehangir Art Gallery as part of their festival program, it almost was too good to be true. The festival is an initiative by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and celebrates Australian culture and arts in India over a six month long period ending in March 2019. I was offered a one week slot at the famous gallery, and the preparations started right away.
For the last few years, I have been going through quite a dramatic change in terms of my art. Since my days in art school, my subject matter was the female figure and fragmentation. My approach towards my art has always been tender and full of emotion, but at that time I was all about distressed figures and “adding through removal”, and I would work with figure combined with non-figurative elements. Two or three years back, I felt that my figures had stagnated a lot while my non-figurative elements had become more vibrant, mature and generally more interesting. Continuing to explore the same theme around social construct and personal and cultural identity, I chose to remove the figure and focus on abstract, or non-figurative imagery.
With the “Constructions” series, I speak up about (at least from my own angle and perspective) a journey as an immigrant with close ties to not just two countries, but three. In this globalised world, immigration will be more and more common and even though great opportunities and many blessings will be a result of it, I know that the emotional aspects and challenges are not talked about enough. I feel that it is an obligation I have as a visual artist to address this in public, and I am very grateful that I could introduce the “Constructions” series at India’s most influential gallery for contemporary art in India.