A Delicate Point: Images from a South Asian Diaspora

February 9 – April 10, 2010

Reception and Gallery Talk Thursday February 18, 7pm

Curated by Priyanka Matthew, Director, Aicon Gallery and Patricia Miranda, Director, OSilas Gallery

Artists: Fariba Alam, Shelly Bahl, Farida Batool, Samanta Batra Mehta, Anna Bhushan, Niyeti Chadha, Tazeen Qayyum, Talha Rathore, Sarah Singh

America is a country that by its very nature is a Diaspora, one that has most successfully communicated an ethos of dual belonging. We can at any time train our lens on a myriad combination of uniquely American diasporas, of people who move in and out of their American and original homelands, bringing the whole of themselves to both places and creating “new” culture amongst the “old”. Through the eyes of our artists, the art of a Diaspora reveals much about our shared history and hence, our future.

At an interesting crossroad in the evolution of popular culture, we stand at moment of hyper-introduction and meeting. Technology has broken through insular portals and access lines, the web’s tentacles reach into the remotest areas of innovation and equalize impact on a broader global sensibility. One point of this intersection is where experiences of east and west are thrown up against one other. For so long the history of the world has been studied insularly in context of east or west, developed or developing, free or subjugated, but with globalization, migration and the web, we have moved from these bivalent categories into a multivalent world of perspectives. Time and place have collapsed onto one another, seen clearly in cultural expressions exploding all over the world and especially in visual culture. We all come from a place and time very specific and yet now, also from everywhere, as cultures travel, integrate, blend, develop, and appropriate, moving in and out of one another in a fluid state of constant creative innovation. A complicated story of richness and at times poverty for individual cultures, visual artists are in many ways the richest beneficiaries of this globalization. As categories of place, gender, genre, and style dissolve into a broader visual language, these artists pull intimate experience into a global migratory field of imagery, subject and medium.

A “new” generation of global South Asian artists has captured their own political and personal journey alongside the clash and smash of East/West culture. Despite their individual reservations to be grouped, we study them in the context of our larger understanding, and acknowledge them as important voices in a new global culture. The term Diasporic seems now to beg to be redefined, as regional culture becomes more and more universally available. Do artists transcend questions of place and identity- and should they? How will the term Diaspora evolve in our technologically connected future? Is it possible to fairly group anyone together without complicated identity issues arising, and might this not be a valuable dialogue to engage in? This exhibition brings together artists of common origins to uncommon result, a testament to the ongoing evolution of global visual culture, and of art as an enduring and transcendent human enterprise.

Gallery Events

OSilas Gallery Film Night
Thursday March 11, 7pm 

A screening of the documentary film “The Sky Below”, by artist and filmmaker Sarah Singh. The film will be followed by a Q & A session with Sarah Singh.

THE SKY BELOW is a contemporary exploration of the creation of Pakistan and the 1947 Partition of the Indian Subcontinent, weaving together 5000 years of culture, while investigating the lingering after-effects of this six-decade old political divide, most tragically witnessed by Kashmir. With her life in the hands of strangers and sometimes gunmen, Singh traveled from the desert of Kutch to the snowy mountains of Kashmir; and from the seaside city of Karachi to the spare but volatile terrain of the Khyber Pass.

Children in the Gallery: ARTyFACTS
Saturday, March 13, 3:30-5pm

Join us in the Gallery to explore the Exhibition, followed by a hands-on art project in the Art Studio inspired by the exhibit.

Free! Children ages 5-10, accompanied by an adult.

Music in the Gallery: Silken Treasures
Sunday, March 21, 2pm

Sun Young Chang, soprano
Jee Sun Lee, violin
Mark Katsaounis, percussion

A concert with composers Byung-Dong Paik and Zakir Hussain and Indian Kajri for voice and string. Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children and seniors. Tickets available at door.