Monday, December 09, 2013


Media-review about 'KiwIndian'

“Terms of cultural engagement, whether antagonistic or affiliative, are produced performatively. The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition. The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on-going negotiations that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation. “ (Homi Bhabha Quoted in Graves, 1998)
Coming to New Zealand was a temporary displacement from my origins and birth. I felt uprooted, as the distance shortened my memories of India but also connected them to the new context.
The two most significant aspects of encountering new boundaries are dislocation and association, both geographically and socially. A displacement in location not only transposes our physical entities but also transforms our consciousness about all that has been accumulated and absorbed in the course of time. Being a visual artist and an educator, this displacement elicits response, both in my art practice and my teaching art.
Relocating my cultural identity in relation to New Zealand was a task that I began to explore in the art of daily living. Just as every migrant would perhaps become an anthropologist for a while in a new place or country, my first priority was to understand New Zealand cultural identity.
If traditions, values, beliefs, customs and heritage define a culture, then the issue of ownership may also depend on the cross-cultural interventions in which the role of a citizen needs to be addressed. It is in this context that I view my own multicultural background within ‘our’ New Zealand multi-ethnic community, in which a growing new hybrid generation is also born from the marriage between the indigenous Maori, the European, and other settlers.
We share our identity by recognizing and accepting that we are each part of the wider human network and that the idea of connectedness is deeper than a race, ethnicity, gender or geographical location. 

'The politics of space defined by the rules of ‘power’ become operational in territorializing places; assigning them with the status that befits those who dominate, as a race, gender or culture. Spaces are assigned with an intrinsic material value that defined the human existential dogma. It has always played a dominating role in locating, disseminating, addressing and percolating issues relating to invasions, occupations and settlements. This has inevitably evoked a sense of distance-proximity and familiar-alienation, demarcating the spaces into places with imaginary boarders [sic] and boundaries that are at times political and extraneous to the human existential needs for life'.
Sudhir Kumar Duppati

Monday, July 22, 2013



The ephemeral nature of Life and Memory in relation to time has prompted humans to ‘progressively’ improve on technological devices spanning a variety of tactile to virtual recordable surfaces.
‘ERASED’ was evoked after losing ‘significant’ information stored in an external memory device and is a glimpse of my thought suspended between the imagined and real.

The idea of recording, documenting, communicating, passing and sharing information has implications on the human tendency to mark their glorified existence beyond life. This has become an expensive and fascinating human investment, engaging all our energies into manufacturing a future that appears to be more valuable than life itself. Or is it really Valuable?

Sudhir Kumar Duppati
New Zealand
July 2013






When I met my soul

When I met my soul

My installation “When I met my soul,” investigates an experiential reflective tour of the human story. By using contrasting visuals from the material and spiritual world my attempt is to evoke a sense of immediate understanding about the two kinds of human experiences.

It is not only to explore and understand the dualities and sometimes-contradictory nature of human existence, but also to demystify this contradiction in our society and emphasize the need for a greater awareness of the consequences and contributions of our actions. Existential contradictions and dualities of all things and beings to me are paradoxical when a purpose of life is envisaged. This self-awareness or you may call it higher consciousness or even Meta-consciousness (Jonathan Schooler) has a possibility to evoke a spiritual growth. An immediate need for such a state of mind is proposed in this site where a central space is created to meditate and contemplate the presence and absence of human soul.
meanwhile, it is time to pause and contemplate on the inhuman actions not just to think but also to act by revisiting the elements of our life- Live and let live, in which there is hope for a sustainable future. Experiencing different cultures while working and practicing art in national and international art institutes, has enabled me to understand existing human conditions. Religion, science and the spiritual worlds have been my topics of engagment in my quest to know the truth. The truth that can emancipate life's resources and libarate the soul from its bondage with the unimpending material manifestaions.
The following work was done in Washington DC in an artist residency at Wesley Seminary Henry Luke III Centre for Art and Theology. Later it was exhibited in Tamarind Art Musuem, NY. I used aproximately 20 craft blades/knifes to draw into 160 boxes. I gave myself a task to atleast design and draw 10 boxes a day. but i did take around 20 days to complete these boxes. The 3200 threads were tied in one day with the help of Rosanne, Rupa, Rekha, Brandon and Eldina. The plaster cast is a impression or Allison's (American University Post Grad Student in Painting) hand who volunteered to spare her hand for four hours while i took the mould. Thanks to you all. 

Material used:
woolen Yarn: 300mt X 40 rolls Approximately 3200 hangings
Carton Boxes: 156 each measuring 31" X 24" X 13"
One Female hand Plaster Cast
Area of the Exhibit 232" X 240" 

The New York Show at Tamarind Gallery 2007-2008

The New York Show at Tamarind Gallery. 2007
"Maps Metaphors and Mythology"

Dunedin Fringe Festival Show 2006
Sep 2006- 'we-us-our' Installation/performance, Fishbowl Westpac Gallery, Dunedin, NZ.

MARKS INSTALLATION 2004- Daira Art Gallery, Hyderabad, India

'Marks', Installation, 3 mtrX3mtr, Bamboo and red woolen thread, Daira Gallery, India, 2004.


Polyfarming in 2007 at the Dunedin Reserve Park, New Zealand. It is a Dunedin City Council and Otago Polytechnic research department sponsored Community Art project. The students of Otago Polytechnic School of Art and the Taieri Beach School kids participated in this installation project. 

The objective of a documented film show on this environmental installation art is to project a social concern- the hazards of polythene circulation. The layout of an industrial product in a natural paysage attempts to indicate the abundance of polythene in an agro nation.

Aview of Poly Farming,Installation in a farm land, Hyderabad, 1999.


I have a duel concern here which focuses on the spiritual and material aspects of life. My attempt is to zero in on these feelings and decode them conceptually: The fragments of the installation are my personal expressions, symbols, references and experiences, which I formulated to articulate my ideas. In the process the objects in my work signifies the ‘about ness’ of forms, which are metaphors that identify the departure of a particular conscious state of mind into a surreal existence. The multivalency of objects refer to the notion of life and their impending values in society. Therefore, the installed cube is itself a parcel designed with consumerists connotations on the exterior symbolising materialism, while the interior is created to provide a space with contradicting elements representing war and peace. Such a concept is intended to freeze TIME.
'Entrance view, Gallery built with wood and canvas, Alliance Francaise De Hyderabad, 1999.

THE CONTAINER (Assemblage), White series

The Container (Assemblage)

Trivial things, everyday life, common practices seem to always have mixed here with abstract, mental or speculative perspectives; through a complex space given by different functions , histories, classes and representations.
The wide spectrum of objects (ready-made/ready-made aided) used as simple forms with in a work of art, range from simply placed day to day objects where in it needs a cultural function, may it be to particular society (that which is ruled by industrial/consumer society) or directly to the personal life of an individual ( that which involves natural forms other than industrial products).
Within this set premise my operations trigger the aspects of industrialisation, technology, consumerism, violence, innovations and defence strategies. The body of my work which involves ready-made objects to the plaster casts of my hands gives it a personal touch to the extent of being freezed in the work/act. The whole work bathed in glittering white, playing with shadows, gives the applied objects a sense of vision and a new dimension is added to the identity of the object. This time freezing moment colloids on the occasion of 50 years of independent India, just to give us a time to rethink about our existence.
Reflecting the cultural matrix of human existence, this dialectic overlapping of the context is paraphrased into experimental definitions. This does not perhaps invoke the immutable truth but probably it stands as a signifying truth of regulating a meaning- sometimes Universal.
Duppati Sudhir Kumar
1997, Mumbai.

FORM AND SPACE, White Series

Form and Space, ICCR Gallery view, Hyderabad, 1997.


Altered SpaceAfter perusing Art Criticism, my area of interest has in the process become more conceptual, in the sense that fundamental questions about art still needed more inquiry and clarity. My critical analysis gave way to this mode of expression. Together with the plastic medium, my concern touched upon the conventions of gallery viewing. This triggered off into site-specific work, as my focus was to bring forth a change in the display methods while exercising the notion of Installation Art. My works are designed to alter the gallery space. So this becomes my central theme and this is what I have dealt within this show. Upon pondering about the most unusual places, the display becomes my space of interest. Although an attempt is made to use the sculptural medium together with painting and found objects, I believe that an atmosphere in a created environment becomes a part of the work, most often artistic/aesthetic. So also my work find their place at different levels like pillars and the floors, which can be identified, as site-specific.Sudhir Kumar Duppati

'Altered Space', Alliance Francaise De Hyderabad, 1997.

My Minds W-a-n-k 1996

My Minds Wank

In the vague situations of ‘paradoxical art practices’…yet another possibility of art …configured within confined boundaries of the existing gallery system.

The process of putting the complex into the simple stressing an ironic self-awareness of an artist and the understated context is one of the objectives of my show.

Since ages, human beings are constantly in search of the ‘new’. The new which could give them a different feeling, experience and perspective to look at things framed-unframed, said-unsaid, looked-perceived, illustrated-visualised etc., are all in search of something different. Art too since ages has been exploring new trajectories in the visual world, directing itself towards an emancipation of complexities.

The manipulation of a gallery space is a concept by itself, providing place to my belief of the possibilities in opening up different avenues. The gallery space here negates the indoor space while transforming it into a symbolic act of redefining the authority by redesigning the bare floor into an out door landscape environment. Hence an attempt is made to transform the given space into a whole three-dimensional space, blurring the traditional/conventional definitions of Painting and sculpture. If space implies the existing gallery conditions/terms (authority) then being accepted within that space is to a certain extent an endorsement by the authority to freely experiment with a given space. My canvas with a panoramic view runs all through the gallery wall at the eye level. This does provide a view that looks different with the other half manipulated as on the floor. This continuity extending beyond the capacity of sight at a single moment, gives a possibility of being a part of my imaginative world. One’s own eye act as window to the immediate environment in the gallery space upon which a view is installed. Thus the images on the canvas, the canvas in relation to the stretching space outside it automatically falls/represents a model of the real world in which the viewer is a part. In other words it means that there is no confined space in the gallery, yet it is seen as confined from outside. The one piece canvas (140 feet X 5 feet) focuses on the aspect of my imagined world over which the coloured visuals on glass represents the otherwise framed works in a conventional display.

A human being is also said to be operating on a horizontal plane both mentally and physically. To trip one off this notion of operation is a part of my concept. Thus my floor too is manipulated to the extent of causing a mental disjunction in a viewer while the soil tends to give a soft tactile feeling to a bare foot as intended to view.
The genesis of being…..the possibility of existence proved by the painted forms, as reality in black on white as the world of nothingness, the nothingness of what to see. The organic elements of nothingness, just as the activated energy as forces is created by vacuum beyond our mortal imagination. It’s sometimes mythic and sometimes real. My world of thoughts belongs to such imagination where its imagination persists but escapes the reason of genesis. As does my work reflect on the usual and the bizarre.

Is it seriousness about experience or about oneself?
Is it selfless questioning or hubris? Or
In artist/writers of experience, has imagination made real world radiant or has it collapsed in subservience to it?

My thoughts and works which never seem to rest on a single note, escalates into the neighborhood of this wonder-filled world with amazing places. This situation seldom gives me a chance to think about what I should be thinking otherwise. It permits me to bring down a bundle of ideas elapsing from the unknown boundaries of immense abundance into this natural and human-made world.

My works on trial serve my attempt to further my speculations of this mysterious world, trying to engross my attention into the unending fathoms of the tempting contents in life, with my ever changing ideas and conventions.

To me the ability to present any visual act, considering it as art signifies the very idea of presentability beyond subjectivity and the content that lies in a work. This is what makes the whole notion innovative to me. The conceptual boundaries breaking away from the conventional aspects of art practices (such as artworks restricted to easel painting or not being experimental with regard to the material/medium) cannot be transcended without an effective reconsideration of their formal structuring, until the attempt is appreciated, in the sense that, an adventure in thought is not possible without an adventure in language/presentability.

Broadly speaking, the component parts of my work of art serve a variety of systematic functions in building those qualities of image which I recognise as representational, yet at the same time made to shimmer and pulsate, to manifest a vision. It is only to give the image a sense of inner life which vibrates the air and space around it.

As a matter of fact, when one is confronted with a work of art one reacts with indifference or dislike, almost as when meeting a stranger. A painting, a sculpture or music, poetry, drama may touch something responsive in us and evoke an emotional impression, even causing mental stimulation. Whatever our reaction, the effect alone is felt, but we do not know its origin. It is unlike certain other experiences in life, such as intuition, impulses, presentiments, vision, spontaneous notions, sudden flashes of remembering and spells of forgetting (amnesia) , sensation- sometimes of a split second, we tend to ignore these perceptions as we are too busy with our routine occupations. They seem to me like greetings from an unknown sphere, or a kind of wave between our subconscious and conscious being. On this level of sensibility art affects us as our inner experience, an intuitive rather than logical knowledge.

Duppati Sudhir Kumar
March 1996, Baroda.