Friday, December 21, 2012

Prompting viewers to explore ideas and meanings of 'self'

Considered one of the most dynamic and innovative art practitioners of her generation, Mithu Sen stands for the new wave of talent in contemporary Indian art.

Born in 1971 in West Bengal, she completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (painting) from Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan, and later, joined the Glasgow School of Art for a postgraduate program on the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship in 2000-01. Among her most recent solos are 'Nothing Lost in Translation', Nature Morte, Berlin (2010); 'Me Two', Krinzinger Project, Vienna; and 'Dropping Gold’, Suzie Q Projects, Zurich.

Among the prominent group shows she has featured in 2010-11 include 'Against All Odds, LKA, New Delhi; 'The Pill', Latitude 28, Delhi; 'Myth - Reality', The Guild, Mumbai; 'At The Edge', Gallery Maya, London; 'Indian (Sub)Way', Vadehra (Delhi, London); 'Dialogues' and 'Eye of India, Bartha & Senarclens Partners, Singapore; 'The Evolution of the Species', Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai. Her work also formed part of 'India Xianzai: Contemporary Indian Art', at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Shanghai courtesy ICIA in 2009.

Mithu Sen maintains a consistent interest in using text, image, and concept through a combination of which, her work let viewers construct their own narratives on the subjects considered often private, through the complicity of their viewing as well as interactions with the images and other elements. Her pieces reflect an acute awareness of many styles and sources apart from the politics of borrowing.

Viewers can experience stories and sounds, which connect to the drawings, developing an experimental new format. The artist wants them to question prevailing societal values. The viewer is compelled to relate to her works at a personal level, through self-analysis of their own identity. According to her, this is also meant to prompt them to play with the ideas and meanings of 'self', as she explores different permutations of identity which one can build and try on, depending on desire or necessity.

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