noone goes home whistling the lights
So, in my complete surprise, we were confronted by Chilla Kumari Singh Burman works as we exited the Tate. The very same that sit in the hotel lobby, on the walls, hanging outside and the white tiger.
Chila uses flexible LED light strip that sculpted into often abstract pieces and sold - she is a commercial artist as well as a fine artist. Her pieces are user friendly - they could be seen as commercial with other pieces having reflection and intention of conveying a message. Both Tiger pieces were created during 2020. The lamps are secured to a metal frame, which has been wrapped in chicken wire to give the fuller shape. The flexes are then added adn cable tied into place so that the power cables exit at the rear of the sculpture. She takes influence from the punjabi culture and the above piece was created for the Tate festival of Lights.
Her works are not limited to the light sculptures, she describes herself as a mixed media/ multi media artist, having used printmaking, collage and video.
She has been a practicing artist for 4 decades.
"Since the mid-1980s I have been exploring the experiences and aesthetics of Asian femininity in paintings and installations, photography and printmaking, video and film. In my more recent works, this theme has taken on a new power and vibrancy. I am currently making a new body of work to draw all of these together and to develop the ideas and images contained in the new cultural contexts of national and international politics in the twenty-first century.
Challenging stereotypical assumptions of Asian women, my work is informed by popular culture, Bollywood, fashion, found objects, the politicsof femininity the celebration of feminity; self-portraiture exploring the production of my own sexuality and dynamism; the relationship between popular culture and high art; gender and identity politics."
"Chila Kumari Singh Burman doesn’t like being labelled as one thing. She combines different techniques including painting, collage and printing together; this is known as ‘mixed media'. When video or sound is used in artwork it’s called ‘multimedia'."
An interesting artist that seems to focus on the fun and exploration of creating in whatever way she feels. The use of the black and white etchings and the colourful other pieces she creates, the use of found objects also resonated with me as a practitioner, a natural way of sharing that I have just put down to being a hoarder could be captivating within pieces of work.
Something to think about.