Sixth Annual IAAC 2009 Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary
Indian Art of the Diaspora

Alakananda Mukerji

Alka Mukerji Alakananda Mukerji
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Artist Statement

I am Alakananda Mukerji, and I grew up on the River Ganges. I have long since left the narrow streets of Benaras where life is awash in a flood of color and a constant stream of souls. Yet however so far I may find myself from those ancient riverbanks, my memory, my art, and indeed my very being -- these are forever caught up in the notion of endless, sacred flow.

People and faces, the surge of sounds, the unfathomably old commingling with the untarnishedly new -- all the rhythms and rhymes of India : this is the wellspring of who I am. I flow from this source, but I have become the river -- changing, evolving, flowing. And what flows from me, my painting, it is often a conversation between the me that was and the me that is becoming. Memories, media, materials -- bits of canvas, pieces of the past -- anything I can get hold of: this is my art. I am the medium. I am the flow.

The subtle tones of Europe, and the soaring spirit of America : these flow in me too, for in these places I was also educated, alongside rivers with strange-sounding names like the Aliákmonas, the Thames, and the Mississippi . These are part of me now and I am part of them. And I am changed, though my wellspring stays the same. For I am a river, and a river is process. Art is process. Life is process.

I work in watercolor. I always found the free-flowing quality of watercolor interesting and ideal for experimentation. At first I thought this was some personal reaction to my source, to my life in Benaras, where everyone and everything is close, where there does not always seem room enough to grow, and where family and friends, and India itself influence one’s decisions. I was foolish. Sometimes we do not see what we have already understood. And sometimes we do not understand what we have already perceived. Watercolor was not an escape. Experimentation does not undo who I was. Watercolor is my Ganges. It is my endless, sacred flow. It is who I was but also who I am and who I am becoming. It is my medium. It is me. I am a river. I am the flow.

And I am flowing. My work that you see here today is where I have arrived after years of work. But a river never simply arrives. I am changing, I am still becoming. And we shall all see where the flow takes me next, or where I take myself, or where I allow myself to be taken, for it is all the same.
Education:  MFA, PhD

Shows And Major Exhibitions

  • Artist Center, Mumbai (Bombay), India 2008
  • Queens Museum, New York, USA 2008
  • Guild Art Gallery, New York, USA 2008
  • IndiaArt Gallery, Pune, India 2006
  • Gallery Mai, Tokyo, Japan 2006
  • Gallery KiKi, Chiba, Japan 2006
  • Village Art Gallery, Katonah, New York 2004
  • The Artists’ Guild, Fort Lee, New Jersey 2003
  • ABC Gallery, Mount Vernon, New York 2003
  • Meserve Coale Gallery, Greenwich, Connecticut 2002
  • The Soho Gallery at 678 Broadway, New York, New York 2001
  • Passaic County CollegePassaic, New Jersey 2002
  • National Exhibition of Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, India 1999 
  • The Gallery of Farleigh Dickinson UniversityTeaneck, NJ 1998
  • Academy of Fine ArtsCalcutta, India 1994
  • Chandigarh Art Society, Punjab, India 1993

Other Activities

Board of  Judges: 
Grants and Scholarships in Art, Music and Theater
Passaic County, Passaic New Jersey 

Director of Brownson Art Gallery, Manhattanville College:
Currently involved in selection of artists and planning of professional shows.
Organize Gallery lectures, talks, and presentations  


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