IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2011   

Shaurya Kumar
Shaurya Kumar Shaurya Kumar
Artist Statement
"Anybody who isn't scared just thinking about what's happening?"
- Richard R. Rowe

While the new digital technology revolutionizes every aspect of the society, it leads us into a world which is often defined as a "Post - " society: Post - Historic, Post - Religious, Post - Civilized, Post - Industrial, Post - Capitalist and Post - Modern.
Some claim that we are experiencing a new society, variedly known as an information society, knowledge society, cyber & virtual society; with extreme emphasis on constant, rapid and invisible change. This is the society where people are beyond the hold of the past, worried about the present and terrified about the future.

My works are based on the analysis of this random transformation, which the virtual world constantly goes through, referring to the "Age of the New Digital World". But the new age here refers not to the new era, but literally to the "Age" of the data itself.

After extensive research and discussions with numerous scientists and engineers, these works were created while working on codes at the binary level, behind the façade of the image interface itself.

The information stored in the magnetic and optical devices was thus manipulated, sometimes changing just one bit. This change - mostly random, destroyed and reconstructed, broke & distorted the data imitating the unpredictability and change that it would undergo - with disaster or age.


A native of Delhi, India where he studied printmaking and painting at the College of Art; Shaurya Kumar graduated with his MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2007. Since 2001, Kumar has been involved in numerous prestigious research projects, like "The Paintings of India" (a series of 26 documentary films on the painting tradition of India); "Handmade in India" (an encyclopedia on the handicraft traditions of India); and digital restorations of 6th century Buddhist mural paintings from the caves of Ajanta in Central India.

His current work deals with the analysis of the methods of digital archiving cultural and historical artifacts. Collaborating with scientists and engineers, his work questions how we are experiencing the world that is becoming global, but is mediated through the computer screen. His latest exhibition "The Lost Museum: The Fate of World's Greatest Lost Treasures" is an exhibition inspired by works of art and culture that were destroyed during various wars.

Kumar's work has been showcased in numerous national and international exhibitions across the US and in countries including India, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, South Korea, Thailand, U.K., and Finland among many others. His one person shows have been installed at venues including The New Art Center, N.Y. (2011); Miami University, OH (2011); Schneider Museum of Art, Oregon; Los Angeles Center for Digital Arts, Los Angeles, CA; Charleston Heights Art Center, Las Vegas, NV; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; and University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Kumar has presented various research and scholarly papers on contemporary aesthetics and challenges in printmaking at many national & international conferences including CAA, MACAA, Southern Graphics Council Conference & iDMAa (International Digital Media Artists Association) conference. He has also curated numerous international exhibitions including "Perfect with Pixel", an exhibition of hybrid works by ninety-six artists from five countries; "Amreekan Curry" - an exhibition of American printmakers in India; "Contemporary India" - a multi media exhibition of works by contemporary artists from India and is currently the main curator for SpaceTime exhibition at SIGGRAPH.

Before joining the printmaking area at UNM in Fall 2010, Kumar taught as an Assistant Professor at Bowling Green State University, OH from 2007 - 2010 where he developed new classes that integrate 2D traditional methods with Digital technology and taught courses in printmaking.

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