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April 30, 2016

Artist Himali Singh Soin Talks About Her Journey

Text by Zaral Shah

Creating installations that draw from literature and continue to tell their own stories, Delhi-born curator Himali Singh Soin is now making masterpieces around London

Ecological concerns in tow, 28-year-old Himali Singh Soin doubts that the machines we have created will outlast us and alter the mortality of the Milky Way. One who likes to travel, learn and observe in her leisure time she talks about her inspirations in an interaction with Verve.

How has the journey to being a curator been?
“I still insist, rebelliously or not, that I’m not a curator. I make tiny alternate cosmologies that start with a poem and end in protest. It has led seamlessly into art-making, which was a little less logistical and more in tune with my abstract brain. This defaults to obscure and untold stories, and relies on an intuitive logic.”

A personal creation that will always be special to you?
“The Particle And The Wave, a video I made in collaboration with Darío Villanueva. It traces the progression of the 1,265 semicolons in Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. The audio has been created from an algorithm that measures the distance between each semicolon. It imposes it on a C-scale to create sound…. The algorithm assumes a life of its own, and the machine that creates the repetitive sound transcends the humanity of the book.”

What are the significant milestones of your career?
“I try not to think of our lives as linear progressions, straight roads, marked by a hierarchy of noteworthy events. This is not to deny milestones but accept that it is always an accumulation of messy ideas and desires that bring us to certain points — backwards, forwards, spiralling in time. I feel right now is significant, in that sense. I’ve switched gears, feeling the surplus of the current, living in London, and making art in the heart of conversation and impulse.”

What do you do in your leisure time?
“Everything is technically a hobby and a passion. I like travelling to remote landscapes, planting, going on blind dates, learning astrology, visiting the Natural History Museum, riding trains, clouds, seahorses…”

What changes would you like to see in your field in the next few years?
“Certainly more spaces and more funding for non-commercial art, more thorough investigations into contemporary existence, and a cogent, artful set of writers and editors that collaborate to produce critique as opposed to flattery.”

Future goals?
“Voyage to the moon on a carpet, obviously!”

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