IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2014

Nandini Chirimar
Nandini Chirimar
Nandini Chirimar

Everyday life is the foundation of my work. I constantly obeserve and think about myself, my surroundings and the traditions that shape my actions. I draw from personal history, relationships, places I have lived in, maps and my different roles as an Indian woman/mother living in America. Through my work I also seek to document current culture and societal norms that we exist within.

Researching everyday objects for their function in our life, and their social significance, is part of my process. These include household objects, things in drawers, shelves, rooms and traditional and non-traditional objects. I research their physical characteristics and what happens when they are taken out of context and repeated or combined. As an example, threads used in Indian ceremonies are tied together using multiples of knots, or a drawing becomes a collection of thousands of minute seeds, spices, grains etc. Out of context, these objets acquire a new existence and almost abstract identity – yet seeing them repeated forces one to become aware of and question their overwhelming importance in our lives.

Relationships interest me – for example, between a husband and wife, a woman and her kitchen, where I am and where I come from, etc. I obsessively collect objects that represent relatonships and journal my observations and questions in my drawings.

I use Japanese Kozo paper to make detailed drawings using pencil, watercolor and embroidery. Printmaking techniques, like etching, aquatint, collograph, chine-colle and Indian/Japanese woodblock printing are an integral part of my work. Often, the drawings and prints are layered, cut or pressed together to become mixed media works. Sometimes they are manipulated to become objects themselves, and morph into sculptural pieces where physical objects become the focus, like things collected in glass jars or bangles sewn on fabric.

Nandini Chirimar grew up in Jaipur, India, and started studying art at College of Art, New Delhi. She was awarded a full scholarship by Cornell University to pursue her undergraduate education, so came to the USA in 1987 to complete her BFA in Drawing and Painting from Cornell. She went on to study art with Grace Hartigan at the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, where she did her MFA in Painting. She was also awarded a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, which she attended in the summer of 1991. In addition, Nandini learned viscosity printing from Arun Bose and spent four years in Japan studying woodblock printing with Taika Kinoshita. She is currently exploring other printmaking techniques with Vijay Kumar at the Manhattan Graphics Center, New York.

Nandini has shown her work many international venues, including Allen Gallery, New York; Queens Museum of Art, New York; Ganges Art Gallery, Kolkata; Centre for International Modern Art (CIMA), Kolkata; Exhibit 320 Gallery, New Delhi; Ono Gallery, Tokyo; CWAJ Print Shows, Tokyo; Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia; Taubman Art Museum, Virginia; AHAF Fair, Korea; SLICK II Fair, Paris; India Art Fair, New Delhi and in Erasing Borders Traveling Exhibitions. 
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