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In ‘Pop South Asia’ Kitsch Reigns Supreme

Featuring over 100 works inspired by popular culture ‘Pop South Asia’ cIt contains all the visual touchstones you would expect: Bollywood, Cricket, Islamic slogans and more. Street chai stalls and Hindu deities are heavily armed with product sponsorship deals that collapse the distance between devotion and commerce. On Jeanno Gaussi’s series of painted wooden skateboards (and in one case embossed iron), the floral track art also looks predictable (e.g. Dreams on wheels, Kabul [2013]).

Gianno Gaussi Dreams on Wheels, Kabul, 2013, wood, acrylic, dimensions variable, by Ustad Abdullah.Courtesy: Artist

But sometimes, in the current surge of populism unsettling the rest of the world, cricketers and chawaras (tea sellers) praised politician. In South Asia, the trend has increased since Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister of India in 2014.today, we are not terribly swollen inflatedpopulism promised to wipe out bloat, but instead only served to amplify much religious nationalism. Endemic sexual violence; a generation of girls who can’t attend secondary school: all these have made her a popular culture in South Asia. Populism is an ideology, but popular culture is its means, and it feels irresponsible to think of the latter without the former.

Dominus Aerith Middleclass Dreams II
Tukral & Tagla, Dominus Aeris – Middle Class Dream II, 2010, oil on canvas. 2.9×2.2m.Courtesy: Artist and Nature Morte, New Delhi

It is divided into six sub-themes such as “Local Capitalism and Print Culture” and “Film and Media Culture”, but “Pop South Asia” is particularly strong in the first gallery. Included are two of his striking Atul Dodiya paintings, one of which is his Gangavataran after Raja Ravi Varma (1998), recreating the iconic mythological work by Ravi Varma, but replacing the goddess in its title with that of Marcel Duchamp. nude walking down stairs (1912). 1890 original by Ravi VAlma A highly influential 19th-century painter who combined Hindu iconography with European academic styles It hangs in the form of a 1937 advertisement for the Swiss chemical importer CIBA. The 20th-Century Buddhist Sinhala lithograph depicting a countThe days of Gautama Buddha effectively convey the atrocities this religion would later indoctrinate In India and Sri Lanka, respectively, in the form of Hindu and Buddhist extremism.

Hangama Amiri Bazaar
Hangamaamiri, bazaar, 2020, cotton, chiffon, muslin, silk, suede, digital woven fabric, camouflage fabric, sari fabric, inkjet print on paper and canvas, paper, plastic, acrylic paint, marker, polyester, tablecloth, faux leather and found fabric; 4.3×7.92m.Courtesy: The Artist and his T293 Gallery, Rome

shortly, Makbool Fida Hussein’s 1980s series Culture of the Streets features photographs featuring weathered film hoards and wheat paste. They describe palimpsistic pastiche as a compositional technique that echoes throughout the show, often evoking the streets. life,like bazaar (2020), Hangama Amiri’s Delightful Kavli Market Textile Installation, or Bhupen Khakhar’s Bakery No. 1 (1965).

The partition is not a scratch but a tear, and it fits beautifully in Bertie Kerr’s work. Broker 1, 3, Four When 6 (All 2017) – A shimeji-like sculpture of a chimera that suggests both the dream of syncretic pluralism and its failure. Two monochromatic oils from Shishir Bhattacharjee could have been a hero story 5 (1987), It’s one of my favorites for its almost airbrushed show that satirizes the military regime in 1980s Bangladesh.and Anant Joshi’s Happy new year (2013), a bizarre dystopian diorama installation combining CRT monitors Domestic altars for exciting effects.

baltic throb
Bertie Kerr, Throb, 2012, bindis on board. 2.4×1.8m.Courtesy: Artist and HCL Tech, Noida

As the first major investigation of its kind, the show has been long awaited. South Asians make up the majority population of her UAE, but this is the first thematic show focused on the region to be held at the Sharjah Art Foundation.. And with the growing interest in global pop art, South Asian works – regions that this show completely covers and are well-represented by smaller countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal – remain under-addressed. The rigor of the research was rewarding and worth the wait.

“Pop South Asia: An Artistic Exploration in Popularity” indicated by Sharjah Art Foundation through December 11th.

saba khan gymkhana women’s swimming, 2021, resin diamonds in “Diamond Painting Kit”. 91.4 x 124.46 cm.courtesy of the artist



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