Chila Kumari Singh Burman: Suite of Seductive Subversion
Chila Kumari Singh Burman is a British Asian artist whose prints, collages, sculptures and films bring disparate imagery into dialogue. Her eclectic style combines depictions of herself and other female entities with iconographies informed by, or related to, the British Empire, Bollywood movies, punk, comics, pop culture and Hindu mythology.
The artist states: “Challenging stereotypical assumptions placed on Asian women, my work is informed by popular culture, Bollywood, fashion, the celebration of femininity. I use self-portraiture to explore the production of my own sexuality. I also look at the relationship between gender and identity politics.”
This exhibition features a selection of prints (etchings made in 2021 using plates that ‘reproduce’ a variety of past works) that epitomise Burman’s playful and ironic mode of aesthetic activism. Key themes include political events, ecology, racial segregation, consumerism, male dominance and tradition, and the visual motifs range from her father’s ice cream van to an Indian antique altitude-measuring device, an anti-meat manifesto, Indian warrior queens and pinups.
Chila Kumari Burman was born in 1957 in Liverpool to Punjabi Hindu parents who had immigrated to England in the 1950s. She currently lives and works in London. She has exhibited since the mid-1980s. Her first survey show took place at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art in 2018. Across the Winter of 2020-21, her work remembering a brave new world adorned the façade of Tate Britain in a London for the institution’s Winter Commission.
Produced by SIRIUS.
Co-presented with Cork Printmakers.
Cobh, Co. Cork