DIVERCITIES

06 Dec 2012 To 08 Dec 2012

The Arts House 1 Old Parliament Lane Singapore 179429

Arun Kumar HG, Baiju Parthan, Dilip Chobisa, Geraldine Kang, Ho Tzu Nyen, Manjunath Kamath, Mithun Sen, Praneet Soi, Pushpamala N, Sarnath Banerjee, Zhao Renhui

Is identity singular, multiple, dual or fused? Which intersections does it emphasize, which points of reference resonate? A globe called home, yet a search for imaginary homelands? A polyglot culture, where every being is in tumultuous transit between identities or composite identities…Art today becomes an exciting statement of the cultural diversity mapping diverse geographies. Homogeneity, which emerges as a by-product of globalization, leads to the growing importance of nudging the cultural producer to look for the celebration of difference. In the case of diaspora, exiles, immigrants and emigrants, struggles with dislocation and recognition of the empowering potential remain a constant engagement. Postmodern thought looks at ‘identity’ as something fragmentary and dynamic, rather than static. The questions of identity ‘now’ orbit around the development of new identities and homogenous cultures which stand in contrast to the hybrid, plural and technical. This question of identity carries valence for artists particularly in the age of globalisation where boundaries are not so definite and dynamic. Interactive processes through diverse media, which is essentially observable in the virtual space that has shrunk the world to a small screen, takes precedence over others. This suggests a brave new terrain where the poetry of visual arts is often completed in the imagination of the viewer, signalling a shift away from the history of visual arts as a single narrative that distinguishes itself from the inheritance of aesthetic traditions. Inhabiting itself in the ‘now’ of the increasingly common international biennales with their gatherings of diverse and maybe even incommensurable practices, cotemporary visual arts is generating communication and confusions in the melange of practices from disparate cultures.What it all proposes is a critical articulation of contemporary cultural practices and their representation, and of what contemporaneity might in fact be. The immediate challenges are clear: bringing together artists from different geographical and cultural zones into a single exhibition space as divergent as they may be culturally and geographically. Looking at India and Singapore, side by side is a point of entry into highlighting the different ways in which these countries have chosen to negotiate a postmodern, global/local identity. The artists featured in Diver|Cities , Arun Kumar HG, Baiju Parthan, Dilip Chobisa, Geraldine Kang, Ho Tzu Nyen, Manjunath Kamath, Mithu Sen, Praneet Soi, Pushpamala N, Zhao Renhui and Sarnath Banerjee are no strangers to the fragmented urban milieu and confronts these concerns headlong in their works.