by Rumi Banerjee
Stuffed in a Suitcase
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1970, Huma Mulji completed her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in 1995. Mulji's participation in recent selected exhibitions includes in 2008 Farewell to Post Colonialism, as a participating artist in Gen-Next—IV at Aakriti Art Gallery in Kolkata, Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, China; Desperately Seeking Paradise, Pakistan Pavillion, ART DUBAI, UAE and Arabian Delight, Rohtas Gallery, Lahore.
Huma Mulji's works depict the absurdities of a post-colonial society in transition, taking on board the visual and cultural confusion of language, image, and taste that creates the most fantastic collisions. Her sculptural work respond to the possibilities of making things in Pakistan, and embrace low-tech methods of “making”, together with materials and forms that come from another time, and that are “imported”, “newly discovered” or “re-appropriated”. For example, the work Arabian Delight is a low-tech taxidermy camel, stuffed in a suitcase. It plays with ideas of travel, transition, and of mental and physical movement, combined with an old world symbol of the camel, forced into the suitcase, apparently looking uncomfortable, but nonetheless happy.
Chaos and mystery... strange letters and signs... melting faces...glowing lights here and there...lots of secrets merging with a dark surface...a peculiar colour palette...few lines fumbling...colour smudges...a piercing gaze of a pair of droopy eyes make a hole in your soul...that’s Taka Sudo’s magic.
Born in the suburb of Tokyo on December 7, 1977, Taka Sudo did not have any formal education or training in art. Instead, he spent his time in drawing cartoons at school. He is actually a lawyer! A Lawyer, who can do anything to win a case; sometimes even tell the truth. He finds law unequal and unjust. To him only Art does justice. George W. Bush and Junichiro Koizumi (former Japanese prime minister) encouraged him to make beautiful things, as the world was dirty during those eight years. With that, he humorously adds that may be that was the reason, which inspired so many artists during those eight years to create beautiful work. Sudo finds similarity in skiing and painting, both make him wake up in the morning, and drink in the evening. He is an artist, an illustrator and a designer. His unique artwork combines paint, pen and ink, stencils and newspaper clippings and has captured worldwide attention. He lives and works in Canada.
See You on the Other Side of the Road..
Born in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province in 1956 or 1957, Wang Guangyi grew up in China during the era of Chairperson Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. He went to the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts from where he grew up to be one of the most influential Chinese artists of the modern era. His works and the works of other artists at that time were known as Political Pop, an approach of art that combines political propaganda with western pop art. Great Criticism: Coca-Cola is a prime example of the Political Pop art of the 1980s and 1990s. He is better known for being the leader of the New Art Movement in China after 1989 and for his Great Criticism series of paintings. He used images of propaganda from the Cultural Revolution and contemporary brand names from Western advertising. By juxtaposing the Coca-Cola logo with an image of a Chinese soldier Wang Guangyi, appropriating the visual iconography of both the Chinese Cultural Revolution and American pop art. In his Great Criticism series, Wang Guangyi brought together the opposing qualities of Socialism and consumerism to create paintings that tell a story of two worlds meeting. In Great Criticism: Coca-Cola, he shows three people in a dress typical of the time of the Cultural Revolution towering over the Coca-Cola logo. During the era of Mao's Cultural Revolution, these people would represent the way of the future. However, in this image, they are not holding the hammers and tools typical of the time; instead, they hold an ink pen as if they had just written out the popular logo below them. He currently lives and works in Beijing, China.
What’s in a Face?
Born in 1962 Yinka Shonibare re-created famous paintings using headless dummies with the 'Africanised' clothing instead of their original costumes, for example Gainsborough's Mr and Mrs Andrews Without Their Heads, Reverend on Ice, The Swing and many more. This British Nigerian artist is well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. Along with these issues his work explores those of race and class, through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and, more recently, film and performance. Using this wide range of media, he examines, in particular, the construction of identity and tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. His women and men are draped in brightly coloured 'African' fabrics (Dutch wax-printed cotton) that he buys himself from Brixton market in London. He currently lives and works in the East end of London.