Curator's Statement :
I am delighted that this year's Erasing Borders exhibition is able to include work by 43 artists working in a wide variety of media-from painting, to photography and digital media, video, animation, installation, sculpture, and printmaking.
For many of these artists of course, their relationship to the Indian sub-continent plays a major role, not only in terms of images or content, but also in terms of color and materials used. And for many, the issues raised as they straddle two diverse cultures also provide impetus for their work. Much of the work in this year's exhibition is both literally and figuratively multilayered, with artists combining many different media in overlapping layers to make images intricate yet nuanced, specific yet elusive. Antonio Puri describes his work in these terms: "It is multilayered and complex with veneers, glazes, varnishes of emotions, transgressions, singularity, obsession, and enigma. I am interested in comparing connections between my eastern roots and my western experiences." Other artists describe their own work in psychological, emotional, or spiritual terms, referencing memory, myth, dreams, imagination of course, cultural heritage, history, time, socio-political and feminist concerns, religious iconography, pop culture, even magic-to which I would add "nostalgia". As Anujan Ezhikode explains, "My work deals with cultural identity, displacement and memory. I am reinterpreting that familiar place which over time can't help but be altered and re-imagined. As the past unwinds, there is a longing to reconnect. Connections once broken become retied and memories long hidden resurface. Color, images, and time all intersect with an absence of boundaries."
It is my great privilege as Curator of Erasing Borders to be part of this diverse, fascinating, talented, and ever-widening community of artists from the Diaspora. I want to thank the Queens Museum of Art, the Charles B. Wang Center at Stony Brook University, Aicon Gallery (New York), and the Jorgensen Gallery at the University of Connecticut (Storrs) for hosting this exhibition. I also want to thank Tanu Jindal for her enthusiasm and invaluable help with this show, and Aroon Shivdasani who makes all this possible.
Finally, I want to say that we are all very pleased to have the well-known artist Natvar Bhavsar as the honored guest artist for this year's Erasing Borders exhibition.