Basharat Bashir

Reena Saini Kallat

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Contemporary Indian artist Reena Saini Kallatwas born in 1973 in Delhi. She belongs to the band of contemporary artists who reinterpreted and gave new direction to Indian abstract art. Kallat graduated from Sir J J School of Art Mumbai in 1996 with a B.F.A in painting,and held her first professional solo show ‘ Orchards of Homegrown Secrets’ in Mumbai in 1998.In her practice which includes drawing, photography, sculpture and video she engages diverse materials, imbued with conceptual underpinnings. In her work there is reference history, collective memory and identity which she uses torepresent the fragility of human condition as well as the transitory nature of everything we desire including our momentary lives.

Reena as an artist is highly fascinated by the continues and never-ending cycle of natureand the fragility of human events and moments. She exploitsthe inept human condition which fades away with time leaving behind unrecognizable traces. Using the motif of the rubberstamp both as object and imprint, signifying the bureaucratic apparatus, Reena has worked with officially recorded or registered names of people, objects, and monuments that are lost or have disappeared without a trace, only to get listed as anonymous and forgotten statistics.

Reema in her work revivesthe events of past, experiencing its effect and sensitivity. Lines of Control which is a recurring element in her works is led by the impact that partition had on her family who were displaced from Lahore. To represent the impression of dividing barriers she in her works uses electrical cables, wires usually serving as conduits of contact that transmit ideas and information, as woven entanglements that transform into detrimentalbarbed wires. She explores the relationship between insignificant human existence and overwhelming nature. In one of her series,she uses salt as a medium to explore the tenuous yet intrinsic relationship between the body and the oceans, highlighting the fragility and unpredictability of existence. To expose the arbitrariness of territorial-skirmishes, Reena frequently draws attention to ecosystems and indigenous vegetation.

Reema proactively uses portraits of babies and children in her work, and in one or the other way all these works resemble the theme found throughout her art – the cycle of life, and images presented in a highly exotic and unusual manner. All of her works, whether installations, photographs, paintings or sculptures, reflect the constant shifts between building and collapsing movements, birth, death and rebirth and defeat and resurgence. There seems no greater inspiration in her works than the undefeatable and un-fatigable ‘prakriti,’ or nature. A force that is constantly creating and destroying, never resting as one world replaces another, only to end eventually itself.

Reema has widely exhibited across the world in venues such as Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), New York; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich; Tate Modern, London; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Kennedy Centre, Washington; Vancouver Art Gallery; Saatchi Gallery, London; SESC Pompeia and SESC Belenzino in São Paulo; GoteborgsKonsthall, Sweden; Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Casa Asia, Madrid and Barcelona; ZKM Karlsruhe in Germany; Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; IVAM Museum, Spain; Busan MOMA; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; KunsthausLangenthal, Switzerland; Chicago Cultural Centre amongst many others.

Kallat has also been the recipient of several notable honours, including the Gladstone Solomon Award for painting.She lives and works in Mumbai.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *