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Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora

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Friday, November 02, 2012–Saturday, December 15, 2012
Location:
Gallery 400
400 South Peoria Street, Chicago, IL 60607

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Amina Ahmed, Shelly Bahl, Siona Benjamin, Sonia Chaudhary, Neil Chowdhury, Anjali Deshmukh, Vijay Kumar, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Samanta Batra Mehta, Ebenezer Sunder Singh, and Tenzin Wangchuk

Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora represents the work of eleven artists currently residing in the northeastern United States who share origins and connections in South Asia. The diversity of meaning, metaphor, and material in their work defies attempts at locating any fixed geographic or cultural “essence” of identity among these artists. Rather, multiple and mutable senses of self and history are expressed through concepts and forms that weave an abundant labyrinth of associations.

The artists featured in Radiate articulate a variety of different questions centering around their identities and experiences within the South Asian diaspora. Religion and mythology serve as particular points of inspiration, reference, and practice for Siona Benjamin, Tenzin Wangchuk, Amina Ahmed, and Ebenezer Sunder Singh. The dynamics of global politics as well as personal experiences of displacement and migration, connection and detachment, are reflected in the work of Vijay Kumar, Sonia Chaudhary, Samanta Batra Mehta, and Neil Chowdhury. Finally, the integration of traditional and new technologies through media and metaphor are reflected in the work of Shelly Bahl, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, and Anjali Deshmukh.

Artists of the South Asian diaspora have been a dynamic force in reframing and reshaping Asian and Euro-American art history. Whether drawing from family heritage in South Asia, the United States, or other parts of the world, these artists move between geographies, histories, and cultural practices of East and West in a way that characterizes today’s globalized world.

CURATOR BIOGRAPHY

Kathryn Myers is an artist, teacher, curator, and lecturer. For the past decade, her work has been informed by her immersion in the art, culture, and religious traditions of India. Myers has exhibited her work widely, including solo shows at Park Street Mews, Colombo, Sri Lanka; the Dahl Art Center, Rapid City, SD; University Gallery, the University of South Carolina, Sumter; Winfisky Gallery, Salem State University, MA; Fundação Oriente, Panaji, India; Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, India; the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, the University of Connecticut, Storrs; Mainsite Contemporary Art, Norman, OK; Galerie du Tableau, Marseilles, France; and the Irish Art Center, New York. Myers has also been included in group exhibitions at Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia; Three Rivers Community College, Norwich, CT; Henderson Art Center, New Milford, CT; Siddhartha Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal; Qeritica Gallery, Varanasi, India; the International Centre, Goa, India; Austin Arts Center, Trinity College, Hartford, CT; Windsor Art Center, CT; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; Lenore Gray Gallery, Providence; Williamsburg Art Center, NY; and 100 Pearl Street Gallery, Hartford. Myers has curated exhibitions at the American Center, New Delhi; Middlesex County College, Edison, NJ; the William Benton Museum of Art, the University of Connecticut; and Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, among others. Myers is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, as well as awards from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Myers currently teaches painting and drawing at the University of Connecticut, a post she has held since 1984. Myers received a BA from Saint Xavier University in Chicago and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Related Programs:

Opening Reception:
Friday, November 2, 2012, 5–8pm

Panel discussion: Shelly Bahl, Siona Benjamin, Pradosh Mishra, and Kathryn Myers
Thursday, November 1, 6pm

Video presentation: Regarding India, Conversations with Contemporary Artists
Friday, November 2, 12pm

Regarding India, Conversations with Contemporary Artists is a series of videotaped interviews by Kathryn Myers, Professor of Painting at the University of Connecticut. Started in 2011 during a Fulbright Fellowship, the project will eventually comprise over 50 interviews. Through the creation of a website, regardingindia.com, the series will be available for anyone interested in contemporary Indian art. In this screening, Myers will present the first four videos of the series.

Film and Video Screening: Translations

Curated by Mathew Paul Jinks and Megha Ralapati
Wednesday, November 28, 7pm

Voices Lecture: Saloni Mathur
Spring 2013

Saloni Mathur is associate professor of art history at UCLA. Her areas of interest include the visual cultures of modern South Asia and its diasporas, colonial studies and postcolonial criticism, the history of anthropological ideas, museum studies in a global frame, and modern and contemporary South Asian art. Mathur is author of India by Design: Colonial History and Cultural Display (UC Press, 2007), editor of The Migrant ’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora (Clark Art Institute/Yale University Press, 2011), and co-editor (with Kavita Singh) of No Touching, No Spitting, No Praying: Modalities of the Museum in South Asia (Routledge, forthcoming). She has received awards/fellowships from the Yale Center for British Art, the Getty Grant Program, the Clark Art Institute, the Getty Research Institute, the University of California Humanities Research Institute, and the Social Science Research Council of Canada. Mathur received her PhD in cultural anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York in 1998.

Tours

Gallery 400 offers guided tours for groups of all ages. Tours are free of charge but require reservation. Please complete our online form (accessible on our website at gallery400.uic.edu/visit/tours) to schedule a tour of Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora. For more information, or to discuss the specific needs and interests of your group, please contact us at 312-996-6114 or gallery400@uic.edu.

# # #

Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora is supported by the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago, and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, as well as the Asian American Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut; the India Studies Program at the University of Connecticut; and the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation.

Founded in 1983, Gallery 400 is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture, and design. The Gallery’s program of exhibitions, lectures, film and video screenings, and performances features interdisciplinary and experimental practices. Operating within the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Gallery 400 endeavors to make the arts and its practitioners accessible to a broad spectrum of the public and to cultivate a variety of cultural and intellectual perspectives. Gallery 400 is recognized for its support of the creation of new work, the diversity of its programs and participants, and the development of experimental models for multidisciplinary exhibition.

Miller, Chris. “Review: Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora/Gallery 400.” Newcity, Nov. 13, 2012.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard – Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora

Poster – Radiate: Art of the South Asian Diaspora

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

Amina Ahmed

Language of the Birds #7, 2010
Gum tempera on paper, 30 1/4 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Language of the Birds #8, 2010
Gum tempera on paper, 30 1/4 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Language of the Birds #9, 2010
Gum tempera on paper, 30 1/4 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Shelly Bahl

House of the Rising Sun, 2007–08
Video projection, 11:30 min. loop
Courtesy the artist

House of the Rising Sun, 2007–08
Video still, 23 1/2 x 75 in.
Courtesy the artist

House of the Rising Sun, 2007–08
Video still, 23 1/2 x 75 in.
Courtesy the artist

Siona Benjamin

Esther Scroll (Megillah), 2010
Digital print on tyvek from an original gouache on paper, 11 1/2 x 180 in.
Courtesy the artist and Flomenhaft Gallery

Sonia Chaudhary

I Am Sin, 2007
Hand-bound book, 8 x 8 x 2 in.
Courtesy the artist

Neil Chowdhury

Burdens and Desires, 2011
Digital photomontage, 30 x 30 in.
Courtesy the artist

Brahma ’s New World, 2011
Digital photomontage, 18 x 60 in.
Courtesy the artist

Barber and Customer Fort Area, Bombay, 2008
from the series “Lost and Found in Bombay”
Digital print, 48 x 36 in.
Courtesy the artist

Boy Mechanic, 2008
from the series “Lost and Found in Bombay”
Digital print, 48 x 36 in.
Courtesy the artist

Machinist Boatyard Road, Bombay, 2008
from the series “Lost and Found in Bombay”
Digital print, 48 x 36 in.
Courtesy the artist

Worker Unloading Potato Sacks, 2008
from the series “Lost and Found in Bombay”
Digital print, 48 x 36 in.
Courtesy the artist

Anjali Deshmukh
Defeat DeStijl, 2011
Digital print, 50 x 50 in.
Courtesy the artist

Making a Way Home, 2011
Digital print, 40 x 66 in.
Courtesy the artist

Vijay Kumar

India Portfolio, 1992–93
Eighteen intaglio prints, 9 x12 in. each
Courtesy the artist

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew

Sneha, 2001–03
from the series “Re-Generation”
Photo animation
Courtesy the artist and Sepia Eye Gallery

Whiteman-Indian, 2001–03
from the series “An Indian from India” Portfolio 1
Archival digital prints in handmade leather portfolio, 7 3/4 x 6 x 1 in.
Courtesy the artist and Sepia Eye Gallery

Feather-Dot, 2001–03
from the series “An Indian from India” Portfolio 1
Archival digital prints in handmade leather portfolio, 7 3/4 x 6 x 1 in.
Courtesy the artist and Sepia Eye Gallery

Samanta Batra Mehta

Menagerie Series #1, 2010
India ink on Mylar, 9 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Menagerie Series #2, 2010
India ink on Mylar, 9 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Menagerie Series #3, 2010
India ink on Mylar, 9 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Menagerie Series #4, 2010
India ink on Mylar, 9 x 22 in.
Courtesy the artist

Sita ’s Escape I, 2009
C-print, 21 1/2 x 35 3/4 in.
Courtesy the artist

Sita ’s Escape II, 2009
C-print, 21 1/2 x 35 3/4 in.
Courtesy the artist

Ebenezer Sunder Singh
Blessed Are the, 2011
Diptych, C-print, 10 5/8 x 32 in.
Courtesy the artist

Reconcile, 2011
C-print, 10 1/2 x 43 in.
Courtesy the artist

Supper by the Sea, 2011
C-print, 8 1/8 x 16 in.
Courtesy the artist

Eleven and Twelve, 2011
C-print, 8 x 16 in.
Courtesy the artist

You, 2011
C-print, 10 5/8 x 16 in.
Courtesy the artist

Tax Money, 2011
C-print, 10 5/8 x 16 in.
Courtesy the artist

Tenzin Wangchuk

Endless Knot, 2010
Sand on ceramic tile, 12 x 12 in.
Courtesy the artist

Elements and Four Activities Ring, 2009
Sand on wood, 24 x 24 in.
Courtesy the artist