Artist Statement

As an Indian immigrant woman, my work explores gender, ethnicity and the seductive promises of rituals. After my own multi-day Hindu wedding, I began exploring ritualized performances wherein brides become consumable artifacts. I digitally collaged drawings of my own wedding photos with found images of sumptuous imperial architecture, ethnic-chic interior design, and animal coloring books to reveal a glossy world of captivity. I have also made a series of trophies and collaborated with photographer Anjali Bhargava for the “Unsuitable Girls” project, where South Asian women can self-nominate themselves and pose with trophies with such titles as “Most Apprehensive Fiancee” and “Most Reluctant Housekeeper.” Expanding upon the “UnSuitable Girls” trophies, I have created life-size trophies that represent “An Ideal Family” through figures which personify the spectacular and text which exemplifies the banal. From exploring female archetypes and rituals, I have also been exploring representations of romantic love. By manipulating film stills & film clips, I revisited particular moments when Bollywood actors sing, dance and gaze love and collaged them in dream-like landscapes amplified by illusory chandeliers. And then I have looked at the myth-making in my own life, and have made a series of sculptures objects, ”a decade of love letters written to and by me, my engagement ring, and wedding jewelry,” are suspended in bird cages. My drawings explores the narrative nature of memory and space, where color combines with black and white, Xerox transfer integrates with ink, and line intermingles with pattern. Gopis, “the cow-herd girls who were known for their noctural, frenzied, steadfast devotion to the Hindu god Krishna,” appear and reappear with my on-going lexicon of chandeliers, bamboo forests, architectural spaces, lively animals, Bollywood film stills, blooming plants, and family photos. In my work, I am interested in the connection between the personal and the popular, specifically the romantic, sexual and cultural expectations that are placed upon women. Through the creation of highly mediated and constructed compositions and narratives, my work hopes to displace notions of authenticity and allow for possiblities of reimagining subjectivities, landscapes, and memories.