Background for the series:
As a child, I have spent time playing in a sand pit in India rather than in front of a computer screen. I have fond memories of making dresses for my Barbie doll and even arranging her wedding to Ken, which involved the entire colony of friends. Communication changed drastically and my friends now live in a computer screen, and now all I see is a fleeting post on facebook of an image they portray of themselves. “I don’t know that person anymore”.
I live in New Zealand now and am holding on to my memories, while I try to absorb new ones, sometimes in the form of symbols I now see on the same computer screen. As I google search for a past that will never come back again. My desire to re connect with past is driving me closer to symbols and I have a desire to re arrange them with new ones to form a new communication dialogue.
The Abducted series is a social commentary on the culture of social media and digital technology. We live in a world driven by choices, some forced upon us and others we make to fit in, creating an alter identity far removed from nature. The series questions the position of digital media with relevance to identity, habits, relationships and the quality of life we lead.
The series includes four types of work, the first one relates to the digital platform and are digital works. The second are paintings on canvas and the third, paintings on plywood cutouts.
With the thought vs speech on facebook and social media work I have an interest to capture the nature of our mind and its thought process when we post something on social media. The resulting speech work is the next phase of the series. I would like to explore the cultural relevance of thoughts and their resultant speech texts.
The plywood cutouts are a personal response to the pressure of social media, which is almost like a second skin we drape to keep ourselves from being isolated. By creating images borrowed from digital technology, and re arranging them with past icons of communication on organic material like plywood, I change the perspective of emotional connection we have with the work.
Tourists know a place for its iconic symbols, but with time symbols and icons, representing a culture has changed and merged with the global ones. Digital technology and social media symbols along with the popular brand logos are not restricted to a physical place. They have found their way in many homes all over the world. This commonality in symbolic identification is my area of interest, and its new forming language of communication is what drives me to create work representing the series. With globalization, one place is similar to any other where symbolic language is concerned, especially with internet connection even in rural areas, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google etc are accessible at the click of a button.
The series also explores the possibilities of blurring of cultural identities and a new formed universal one.
The solo show took place at Depot Artspace in Auckland in 2018.