Hema Upadhyay 1972年出生於印度巴羅達。她從個人角度，用作品持續不斷地關註普遍存在的移民和遷徙經歷。在她的綜合材料作品中，她將自己的攝影作品整合於紙上，以傳達她自1998年搬至孟買以來對移民的看法。這些作品總是在描述人們到達一個新環境時所同時感受到的疏離和缺失，以及敬畏和興奮。在同一年，赫瑪在澳大利亞悉尼首次參加了國際聯展。她展出了一件由兩千只仿真蟑螂做成的裝置，名為“少女與成人”；這些蟑螂四散分布於展覽空間內。這件作品生成於一個全球化的高度緊張的政治氣氛之下，促使觀眾去思考軍事行動的後果。它使人們不禁躊躇，在如是的戰爭和核試驗之後的世界，還有什麽可以生還。
Baroda born and Mumbai based, Hema Upadhyay (*1972) uses photography and sculptural installations to explore notions of personal identity, dislocation, nostalgia and gender. Upadhyay draws on her own personal and family history of migration to express her concerns and this is expressed through the way she portrays herself in her works and the urban slums in her installations.
Hema had her first solo exhibition Sweet Sweat Memories in 2001. The exhibition speaks of a sense of alienation and loss and at the same time a feeling of awe and excitement one usually feels when in a new place. In 2003 she was part of the Vasl residency in Karachi where she made a work titled Loco foco motto that spoke about the India-Pakistan divide keeping in mind her own family history related to the partition of India. Constructed of thousands of un-ignited matchsticks assembled into elaborate chandeliers, these pieces embody an important element of Hindu ritual, symbolizing creation and destruction, a trend in her work, which explores violence co-existing with beauty. In her recent works, Hema explores the sculptural element in her large scale installations. She repeatedly utilizes the landscape of Bombay and patterned surfaces (from Indian spiritual iconography and traditional textile design) to reference the repercussions and socio-economic inequalities that emerge as a hidden consequence of the relentless tide of urban development in the city.
HU - Hema Upadhyay
ST – Selina Ting for InititArt Magazine
Residence in the Calder Atelier
Selina Ting: We are here in the Atelier Calder in Saché (France) where the late American sculptor Alexander Calder spent his last 15 years to work on the stabiles. He chose to build his house close to the wild nature in the Loire Valley region. Now this space is entirely dedicated for artist-in-residence projects. You do you feel after spending some months here?
Hema Upadhyay: When I came here, I realized that my proportions as a human being fit perfectly inside, in an interior. Once I am outside in the nature, it was too vast for me to understand my proportions. Nature has its own speed, site, growth and process. Comparing that with the manufacturing process of an artist, it’s a very different thing. I am confronting this right now. I am given a studio to work in, and I have this big house and the big forest, I can work anywhere. But I feel my proportions are right inside here. The moment when I go outside, it’s a complete upheaval for me.
Selina Ting: When we look at your previous works, we see a strong influence from the city environment of Mumbai where you live and work. While here, you are in a very different environment, vast, empty and peaceful.
Hema Upadhyay: Yes, so much chaos in my work actually came from the city. When I work in my studio in Mumbai, there are lots of elements, of decay, of life, of chaos. It’s a double-edged condition when you see development in the making – you see growth but decay, you see modern skyscrapers but the mushrooming of slums, etc. It is the dichotomy which existed within us and outside us as well. Here, it seems to be no chaos but an internal chaos is there in the forest. A construction and deconstruction cycle is taking place. As an artist, I am constantly confronted with the idea of creativity, of how the natural elements or conditions affect the manufactured work.
Selina Ting: It’s only when you cross the border that you can see the difference. Do you feel that it’s influencing your concept of art or art practices as well?
Hema Upadhyay: Yes. I think Nature often puts the question back to us, for example, how I look at my own process of art making with the one which is happening outside. Because, as an artist, you are always working alone with your ego and your alter ego, your good side and your bad side. All these come together with disrespect for a lot of things in the process of art-making, because you are really involved in it. Once when a work is done, when you look at it, you can analyze it.
Selina Ting: Because by then you can be put a distance in between… Do you think that the work is independent from you once it’s done?
Hema Upadhyay: When you are working on a work, you are obsessed with it. That’s the core of the practice. After that, I sometimes related to it as an object and when I have to install it in different spaces, I can alter it accordingly to the site. But this is not the core for me. The core is still the time spent in the studio. That’s why I enjoyed reading the previous interviews you have done, because they deal with the pure concept of art making, the process.
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