South Asian artists: 4 top posts from 2009 to 2011
Looking for new flavours in South Asian contemporary art? Lately, we have been rummaging around in our archives to bring you the best posts on a given Art Radar topic. A semi-regular series, this week we link to top posts under the topic ‘South Asian artists’.
Bani Abidi, ‘Distance From Here’ (video still). 2010.
Sri Lankan art on map with Pala Pothupitiye’s 2010 Sovereign Asian Art Prize win
Weaving narrative through a simple map allows Sri Lankan artist Pala Pothupitiye to successfully convey a compelling portrait of human tragedy in the erstwhile war-savaged region of Jaffna.
“The repeated images of the ‘lion’, the central image of the Sri Lankan national flag, makes the background of Pothupitiye’s recent series, “My ID”. “This motif also appears in the background of the state issued national identity cards,” says Sri Lankan artist-cum-curator Anoli Perera.
“By appropriating this motif and using it in his work Pothupitiye ironically and purposefully turns his personal identity into a national issue aligning the personal and the national on a horizontal grid,” she adds.
“This can explore many layers of meaning and interpretations in a context of check points, ethnic marginalisation, exclusivist nationalisms and politics of global mobility while still privileging the artist’s anxieties of his own identity negotiated within his ancestry, family history and the workings of his art practice.”
Pala Pothupitiye, ‘Jaffna Map’, pen and pencil on printed map, 92 x 66 cm. Image courtesy Sovereign Art Foundation.