Artist StatementFenced in an institution, a quiet relentless struggle intensifies; a struggle of diminishing into a forced identity grounded on a stranger’s preconceived notion of what you represent. It breathes and strengthens, crippling you. A blanket of dread is hurled at you as you contemplate this invasion. While you persistently resent, the piercing gaze of those stereotypes devastates you. As an international student, I am subjected to stereotypes which are farfetched. It is grueling to balance the aspects of my culture which I celebrate and the fragments which are forced upon me by others. My body of work presents a view of my culture and hometown from my own uninterrupted perspective. Far from stereotypes, this local perspective both challenges and celebrates the culture I belong to. The work aims to take many forms and mediums to address a wide range concepts and thoughts. However, each one aspires to draw the viewer in with the intricate details.
Imagine the sun groaning and pelting you with its blistering rays. Streets crammed with ramshackle buildings contrasted with dominating skyscrapers. Wisps of air, heavy with lingering dirt and pollution, coating you. This is home. This is Mumbai.
Born in Mumbai, I have grown up surrounded by beautiful textiles, traditional folk art, and vibrant street art. This zeal for detailed and bold art persisted as I shifted to the UK and later to the US. My artwork serves as a reflection of this experience and aims to introduce narratives from one place to another. My international perspective honed my appreciation and elevated the importance of sharing culture from a perspective that is removed from stereotypes. My work focuses on depicting culture in a respectful manner that expresses contemporary perspectives which contrasts from the farfetched labels.
My education as a full-time international student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore receiving a BFA in General Fine Arts and Humanistic Studies with a concentration in Curatorial Studies and Book Arts has allowed me to realize the above. This aim has been depicted through exhibitions I have done in Maryland Institute College of Art such as “GFA Mixed Media Arts”, “Identity: What’s Your Story?”, “Undergraduate Juried Exhibition” and “Concentrate: Pages of Past” which all rendered my work about culture and the places I am from. These works honed my skills in book arts, woodwork, metalwork, fibers, printmaking, digital cutting and surface alterations. I employ these mixed media skills to create artist books that portray this struggle in the very setting it was created.