ARTIST STATEMENT

I was born in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England on July 20, 1961. My parents emigrated from India and later we moved to the United States and settled in Canada. My art practice is inspired by my immigrant history and love of writing. I like epistemological questions, such as how we know others and ourselves. Primarily through installation - using bookmaking, photography, video, digital technologies and performance - I explore constructed systems and ideas of language, history and memory in an effort to avoid the usual dichotomies of past/present, private/public, us/them.


BIOGRAPHY

Before embarking on a career as an artist, I obtained my Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (Carleton University, 1984) and a Diploma in Advertising and Design (Ontario College of Art and Design, 1993). In the 90's, I worked as a cultural activist/artist with many grassroots organizations in Toronto to develop a strong community centred on contemporary art and cultural diversity. I was the Co-Director of Desh Pardesh, Toronto's groundbreaking South Asian Festival of Arts and Politics, and a founding member and Director of Toronto's South Asian Visual Arts Collective (SAVAC), the only artist-run centre in Canada supporting South Asian professional visual artists. Currently, I am on a leave of absence from SAVAC to pursue my art practice and education.

In addition to receiving recognition as an arts manager, my art has met with local, national, and international success. Tagore and Mrs. E. (2000) is featured in Museums After Modernism: Strategies of Engagement edited by Griselda Pollock and Joyce Zemans (2007). In 2005, I Know You, Louise Boothe (2004) was a featured exhibition in CONTACT, Toronto's international Photography Festival, and was an artist project in Fuse magazine. In 2006, I was invited to participate in New York artist, Janine Antoni's performance lab in London, U.K. through the Live Art Development Agency.

Awards, grants and support for my artistic practice include the Upfront and Personal creative residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts (2002); invitation by the Canadian High Commission in Pakistan for a solo exhibition at Croweaters Gallery in Lahore and a five-city lecture tour (2003); and grants for a mentorship with Augustus Casely-Hayford, former Director of the Institute for International Visual Arts, U.K. (2006), attendance at the Sharjah Biennial, Venice Biennale, Documenta and Basel Art Fair (2007), and residency at the nowhere film and video lab in the U.K. (2007). My articles are published in Art India, Kala, Mix, and in Avec Pyar, which I co-founded in 1996. I have participated as a panellist at The Group of Seven Roadshow (Art Gallery of Ontario, 2005), The Modern Language Association Convention (Washington D.C., 2005), and The South Asian Popular Culture Conference (University of Manchester, 2006).


CV

EDUCATION
1993: Associate of Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), Toronto, Canada
Received admission with advanced standing to the second year of a four year program.
1984: Bachelor of Commerce, Honours, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Awarded Entrance Scholarship based on academic achievement.

RESIDENCIES/MENTORSHIPS/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

2007: (August) Experimental Film and Video Residency at nowhere lab, London UK
2007: (June) Professional Development Biennale Tour- Sharjah Biennial, Venice Biennale, Documenta, Basel Art Fair
2006: Mentorship with Director, Institute of International Visual Arts, London UK
2002: Thematic Residency "Upfront & Personal", Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta

VIDEOGRAPHY
2006: "Isn't it pretty to think so" (7min.)
2004: "I Know You, Louise Boothe" (8:34 min.)

PERFORMANCE
2006: Lore and Other Convergences -performance with Janine Antoni (New York) Nov. 17 at Live Art Development Agency, London, UK
2005: SAVAC SEVEN - performed with SAVAC - November, Toronto
2004: (GUARD)IAN - performed with SAVAC - Sept. 30 at the Drake Hotel, Toronto
2004: (GUARD)IAN - performed solo - Oct. 23 at Mountain Standard Time
Performance Festival, Alberta College of Art and Design

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2005: Project Room - Gallery 44 (Feature exhibition, CONTACT Photography Festival)
2004: OUTFRONT - CBC Radio, Toronto, Canada
2003: Croweaters Gallery, Lahore Pakistan

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2006: "Bill Huffman Annual Award" Curator: Bill Huffman, VMAC Gallery, Toronto
2003: "Through Customs", Curators: Shamim Momin and Raina Lampkins-Feilder (The Whitney), Bose Pacia Modern, New York
2003: "Peace Taxi" Curator: Cyrus Irani, Site-Specific intervention in Toronto Taxis
2002: "Borderless Terrain", Curator: Dr. Alka Pande, India Habitat Centre, Delhi
2001: In conjunction with "Home & the World" Curator: Karin Miller-Lewis, India Centre of Art and Culture, New York
2001: "Shaken and Stirred" Curator: Rina Banerjee and Barbara Hunt (Artists Space, New York) Bose Pacia Modern, New York
2001: Art Wallah Festival Curator: Andaleeb Firdosy, Artshare Gallery, Los Angeles
2000: "Private Thoughts/Public Moments" Curator: Sutapa Biswas, Art Gallery of Ontario
1996: "Naya Samachar" Curator: Amina Ally, Desh Pardesh Festival, Gallery 401, Toronto
1995: Two Women Show with Tamara Zeta Sanowar-Makhan, Storefront Gallery
1994: "Go Back to Your Own Country" Curator: Marilyn Jung, York Quay Gallery
1993: "Dismantling Invisibility: Asians Respond to the AIDS Crisis", A Space, Toronto

MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTS MANAGEMENT & PROGRAMMING
2000-06: Director - SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Collective), Toronto
2000: Teacher, Art and World Religions - Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
1999: Festival Coordinator - Rights on Reel, Toronto Human Rights Film & Video Festival
1998: Director: - 25th Anniversary Literary Events, Toronto Women's Bookstore
1996: Co-Founder/Art Director - Avec Pyar, Quarterly Zine of South Asian Art, Toronto
1995: Programmer - WomanTalk, Mayworks Festival of Working People, Toronto
1995: Visual Arts Programmer - A Space Gallery, Toronto
1994: Co-Director - Desh Pardesh Festival, Toronto

JUROR/ADVISOR
2004: Community Advisor to Canada Council Visual Arts Section
2004: Awards Juror - Ontario Association of Art Galleries - Toronto
2004: Awards Juror- Images Festival of Independent Film/Video/New Media -Toronto
2003: National Advisor - InFest: International Artist Run Culture - Vancouver
2003: Best Practices Advisory Committee - Canada Council - Ottawa
2003: Artist-Run-Centres Working Committee - Canada Council - Ottawa
2002: Multidisciplinary Festivals Jury - Ontario Arts Council - Toronto
2002: Inter-Arts Jury - Canada Council - Ottawa
2001: Emerging Visual Artist Grants Jury - Toronto Arts Council
1998: "Tourists in Our Own Land" - Jury, Gallery 44 and SAVAC - Toronto

CURATOR
2000 - 2006: Director of SAVAC, Toronto, Canada
2004: Wrapped in Code, Gallery 1313, Toronto, Canada
2001: alienNATION, York Quay Gallery II, Toronto, Canada
1995: Against the Wall, Gallery 401, Toronto, Canada
1994: Funk'y Raat, Equity Showcase Theatre, Toronto, Canada
1994: Visual Arts Studio, Desh Pardesh Festival, Toronto, Canada

ARTIST TALKS & EDUCATIONAL LECTURES
2006: "South Asian Popular Culture Conference", University of Manchester
2005: "Museum & Literature", Modern Language Association Convention, Washington D.C.
2005: "Group of Seven Roadshow: Art and Public Culture", Art Gallery of Ontario
2005: Vivan Sundaram's "Re-take of Amrita", Gallery Talk & Walk at Gallery 44, Toronto
2005: "Define Indian", a TRIBE and SAVAC presentation, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design
2004: Mountain Standard Time Performative Arts Festival: Grand Action Panelist, Calgary
2004: "Mutations<>Connections" Centre A - Vancouver Centre for Contemporary Asian
2003: Artist Lecture Tour of Pakistan: Beaconhouse National University, Rohtas Gallery (Lahore), Balochistan University (Quetta), Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, VM Gallery, (Karachi), Hunerkada Art School and Gallery, (Islamabad) and Peshawar University (Peshawar), Pakistan
2001:"alienNation", York Quay Gallery II, Toronto, Canada
2001: "Shaken and Stirred", Bose Pacia Modern, New York, USA
2001: "Private Thoughts/Public Moments", Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
2000: "Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", "Art and World Religions", Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
1994: "Touching on Skin", York Quay Gallery, Toronto, Canada
1993: "Art as a Healing Vision", Queen's University, Kingston, Canada

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Home and the World: Re-learning the Group of Seven by Janna Graham, RKJ Catalogue, 2007
I Know You, Louise Boothe by Corinna Ghaznavi, RKJ Catalogue, 2007
Amin Rehman - Artist Profile, by Rachel Kalpana James, KALA, Summer 2005
I Know You, Louise Boothe, Artist Project, Fuse Magazine, Volume 28, Number 3, 2005
IDENTITY-CHECK, by Rachel Kalpana James, MIX Magazine, 30.2/3, 2005
From Foreign Shores, by Rachel Kalpana James, Art India Magazine, Vol. 9, Issue 1 2004
SAVAC and the Pakistani Connection, by Rachel Kalpana James, KALA, Winter 2004
Peace Taxi by Carolynne Hew, Zed-tv, CBC, Jan 26, 2004
The Exotic On Show, by Quddus Mirza, The News, September 28, 2003
Cabbie art show is a gas by Leah Rumack, The National Post, August 9, 2003
Cabbies give art a chance by Rebecca Caldwell, The Globe and Mail, August 9, 2003
Images Without Borders by Ashrafi S, Bhagat, The Hindu Times, India, September 8, 2002
East-West Culture Clash by Aparita Bhandari, Toronto Star, July 18, 2002
Art Expresses Cultural Identities by Judy Stoffman, Toronto Star, August 16,2001
Shaken and Stirred by Karin Miller-Lewis, Art India Magazine, Mumbai, 2001
Shaken and Stirred by Pooja Makhijani, New York Arts Magazine, New York, 2001
Private Thoughts/Public Moments by Germaine Koh, Fuse Magazine, Toronto, 2001
Private Thoughts/Public Moments by Leela Viswanathan, KALA, Toronto, 2000
Canuck Crunch by Deirdre Hanna, NOW Magazine, Toronto, 2000
Private Thoughts/Public Moments, This Morning with Shelagh Rogers, CBC Radio, 2000
As We Are by Rachel Kalpana James, Fireweed Magazine, Toronto, 1994
Burden of AIDS Gives Rise to Art as Social Activism by Christopher Hume, Toronto Star, 1993

AWARDS
Canada Council for the Arts, Professional Development Grant, 2007
Chalmers Professional Development Grant, 2007
Ontario Arts Council Access and Career Development Grant, 2006
Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance, 2005
Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist, 2004
Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist, 2004
SAVAC 10th Anniversary Award, 2004
Toronto Arts Council Emerging Artist, 2003
Canada Council Travel Grant to India, 2002
Canada Council for the Arts Emerging Artist, 2002
Ontario Arts Council Emerging Artist, 2001
Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance, 1993