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Bani Abidi, Srinivasa Prasad, Sreshta Premnath
and Avinash Veeraraghavan:
Contemporary Art From India

Lawrence Eng Gallery
Vancouver BC – Mar 27-May 2, 2009

Sreshta Premnath, Cruise to Nowhere

Sreshta Premnath, Cruise to Nowhere (2007), digital photoprint [Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 27-May 2]

Bani Abidi, So He Started Singing

Bani Abidi, So He Started Singing (2008), video work [Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 27-May 2]

Srinivasa Prasad, Untitled (Payana)

Srinivasa Prasad, Untitled (Payana) (2009), ink-jet on archival lustre paper [Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 27-May 2]

Avinash Veeraraghavan, no title

Avinash Veeraraghavan, no title, from the series Gatecrash (2008), printed on Ilford fibresilk lustre paper [Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver BC, Mar 27-May 2]

Lawrence Eng introduces four artists represented by Gallery Ske in Bangalore. Their work with new media emphasizes contemporary artmaking as a global activity with a global audience.

Pakistani artist Bani Abidi uses video to examine issues of identity and how identity forms along linguistic and cultural lines. Her videos are inspired by her background as a Muslim woman, the history of Pakistan and India's partition, global politics, and the influence of international film. Abidi earned her MA at the Art Institute of Chicago. She recently participated in the Third Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan. Bani Abidi lives in Karachi and New Delhi.

Bangalore-based artist Srinivasa Prasad’s Payana is an installation of objects covered with gunny sack and photographs of the artist with a large bullock cart. The work is based on an earlier performance piece that used the antique two-wheel carriage laden with old household chattel as a metaphor for the artist’s travels between locations. Prasad holds a BFA and MFA in sculpture, and has participated in numerous artists’ residencies and workshops internationally.

Sreshta Premnath creates collages of Internet imagery that emphasize the perception of the East by people living in the West. His works illuminate our longing for the “exotic” even though, as he puts it, we are simultaneously crippled by our fear of it. In addition to digital photo-prints, Premnath’s work has included multi- channel video installations, 16 mm film, performance art and site installations. He has exhibited in India, Scotland, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Oregon among other numerous locations.

In Gate Crash, Avinash Veeraraghavan has created heavily collaged images that conjure up different realities in their layers. They provide tantalizing glimpses of their themes, yet remain visually elusive. They are described as “psychic shimmers devoid of narrative, but derived from the images of the flotsam and jetsam of everyday lives.” A video piece entitled Hurricane provides background laughter in combination with snippets of Bach. Veeraraghavan’s artwork has become progressively more complex in the past five years.


Mia Johnson

 Sat, Apr 4, 2009