Visual Artist, Sharmistha Ray Goes Bold With Her Solo Exhibition – we are all islands 2
A contemporary visual artist whose work encompasses painting, installations, electronic media, photography, sculpture and drawing. Sharmistha Ray is a TED Fellow who has exhibited in Delhi, Hong Kong, New York and Singapore. Earlier, she had staged the critically acclaimed travelling exhibit we are all islands in Mumbai and Kochi.
A citizen of the world, Ray’s works address personal identity as viewed through the chaos of migration. Born in Kolkata, Ray spent her childhood growing up in Kuwait until the Gulf War brought her back briefly to Kolkata. Ray pursued her further studies at Williams College and Pratt Institute in America. Fate struck when Ray happened upon a show at the Reina Sofia in Madrid that would change her outlook forever. A retrospective exhibition of the radical gay painter, Bhupen Khakar, the show had a visceral impact on Ray and fuelled her determination to return to India—if only to bear witness to the incredible subjects Khakar painted. The founder of Bellevue Salons a popular cross-pollinating platform for dialogues in art and culture.
We are all islands 2, organised by the Nine Fish art gallery, marks a new conceptual direction for the artist, unveiling a bold merger of concepts and practices she has been experimenting with over the last few years. The exhibition is the second edition of Ray’s solo exhibition which was held in Mumbai between October 1 and November 6, 2016. Through multi sensory environments, Ray adapts the grammar of identity politics to express the germ of her own history,
Exposure to war, migration and coming out in her formative years provides the basis of Ray’s preoccupation with identity politics, cultural hegemonies and the nature of power. Drawing on postcolonial theory and queer politics, Ray constructs an autobiography of lived experience, proposing multiple perspectives for the construction of identity.