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October 07, 2015

Living Hyphenated Lives With Reena Saini Kallat

Text by Huzan Tata

Explore hybridised species of fauna and birds through Reena Saini Kallat’s new series of artworks

Have you ever seen an oak-palm or spotted a De-on in the forest? Acclaimed artist Reena Saini Kallat’s latest show, Hyphenated Lives, lets you picture both. Known for her imaginative use of materials in her creations, Kallat’s latest solo show provides ‘poetic and provocative inquiries into ideas of unison and estrangement, of confluence and conflict,’ through a fascinating series of works.

5 Questions with the artist, Reena Saini Kallat

  1. Artistic Motivations “Making art allows you to re-imagine things; I find the possibility of shifting perception of an object or idea exciting… For me the process seems to shuttle between the content or conceived ideas giving shape to form, which is largely a more conceptually driven process and sometimes the reverse, where the potential possibilities of the medium inspire metaphors and ideas.”
  2. Inspirations “Various strands of art from the West as well as from the subcontinent have informed my work, ranging from the conceptual, performative, mythic to the minimalist. Film, print and television media, literature, poetry and architecture, as well as real life experiences that go well beyond the art historical.”
  3. On the wall at home “…there are a few artist colleagues whose works I’ve enjoyed living with at our home like Nalini Malani, Anish Kapur, Raqs Media Collective, Dayanita Singh, Pakistani artist Huma Mulji, Parastou Forouhar based in Berlin, whose presence I find inspiring and stimulating. Given a choice I would love to add other works by artists I’ve deeply admired like Rachel Whitread and Mona Hatoum.”
  4. Concerns that find a place in your art “I think the one thing that concerns me most about the world today are its ironies; while we live in a time when we have all the tools that can aid and deepen our understanding of the world and each other, yet there are more misunderstandings. Technologically we are far more connected than any other moment in human history and yet there are more disconnections, social barriers; the widening gaps between the simple promises of democracy and the complexity encountered in making it work.”
  5. If not an artist, you would be… “A psychologist perhaps, since I find the dynamics of relationships most intriguing, to reflect upon behavioural patterns not just between humans, but animals and other elements around us…”

Hyphenated Lives is on display at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (3rd floor, Queens Mansion, G Talwatkar Marg, Fort) until October 10, 2015.

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