A BEAST, A GOD, AND A LINE
My Great - Great - Grandmother's Shawl
Nov 14 2020 - Mar 26 2021 at MAIIAM Contemporary Art Museum, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Artist : Sheelasha Rajbhandari
Medium : Digitally printed photographs, recreated hand printed muslin 'Damber Kumari' shawl, clothing tags, counterfeited clothing tags.
Photos: Triptych,60.96cm x 86.36cm each without frame
Shawls: 205cm x 112cm(each), 2pieces.
Sheelasha Rajbhandari's work from the #samdaniartcollection 'My Great-Great-Grandmother’s Shawl (2017)' was displayed at MAIIAM in Chiang Mai, as part of the exhibition 'A beast, a god and, a line' curated by Cosmin Costinas.
The artist traces socio-political changes in her native Nepal through changes in cultures of clothing in her family. She references her maternal great- great- grandmother’s traditional Damber Kumari shawl, which contained pieces of fabric from Nepal and Varanasi, and imitated textiles from Dhaka. Adding to these layered histories, she embroiders real and counterfeited brand tags from cheap mass-produced clothes from India and China, juxtaposing these with images of her grandmother wearing the shawl.
Rajbhandari raises questions of authenticity and copying that go into the production of culturally significant items, producing an artifact for the contemporary moment, where diverse textile cultures are being flattened out by mass-production.
The exhibition welds a narrative of the geographical expanse of Asia-Pacific as a collective universum, where the works on view bridge geographies and timeframes. Ancient and contemporary travel routes, personal biographies, political and environmental violence, and a revisiting of historiographies are but a few of the threads transcending the show. Over 60 artists from across the region which include Cambodia, India, Vietnam, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Philippines, Australia, as well as Thailand, sets a foundation for the possibility of taking an in-depth glimpse into this complex region of the world in both its political and artistic sense.
The exhibition is curated by Cosmin Costinas and is organised by Para Site, Hong Kong. It was on view at Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka, the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, as well as at The Secretariat (Pyinsa Rasa/TS1), Yangon throughout 2018, and previously at Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway in 2019.