Sunday, August 4, 2013

Works with a global all seeking vision

Rina Banerjee says her work explores "specific colonial moments that reinvent place and identity as complex diasporic experiences intertwined and sometimes surreal." While sculptures and drawings, paintings use a fusion of cultures and unravel our connected experiences an explosion of differences alternate the way we receive our identity.

Her experience growing up in urban sites and in communities of mixed cultural/racial locations provides a context and content for her work that delivers a global all seeking vision. This love of substance, fabric and texture manifests itself in her multi-media works in which disparate objects such as taxidermy alligators and wooden cots, fish bone, ostrich eggs and light bulbs, amber vials are strung up or nestled in with feathers and umbrellas, souveniers of low culture and high culture, antique furnishings, icons of different faiths and plumes of fabric.

Paris- based Musée Guimet had presented a series of her works, entitled ‘Chimeras of India and the West’. Installed at the heart of the permanent collections, her hybrid, poetic compositions seemed to enter into resonant interplay with the works held by the museum, which date back hundreds and thousands of years, offering a new angle on Asian civilizations and their complex relations with the West.

Her latest showcase is part of the Sackler’s ‘Perspectives’ series of contemporary art, which recently featured prolific Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s monumental installation ‘Fragments’. Noting the abundance of antique wood on the market, he had a number of pieces transported from Guangdong to his studio in Beijing to create a series of objects and installations.

The Smithsonian Institution has two museums of Asian art: the Freer Gallery of Art, which opened to the public in 1923, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, which welcomed its first visitors in 1987. Freer and Sackler curators are involved in dozens of ongoing research projects, often with colleagues from institutions around the world. Its motto is to present the best in Asian art while enabling our visitors to walk through a vivid timeline of world cultures.

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