21 Mar 2018

Art News: Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha

‘Building Bridges’ at Gallery Sumukha is an international project conceived by Ushmita Sahu in collaboration with Emergent Art Space (San Francisco). The project was conceived to unfold over a period of one year from March 2017 to March 2018 in various stages with an open call for submissions from individual freelance artists of up to 30 years in age, working in video, photography, performance and sound art genres from across the world. 

Vishal Kumaraswamy Video Still 2, Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha

The unique angle to the project is that it was conceived, curated and executed via the virtual platform. None of the artists, the curator or the sponsors had ever met physically. All communication has been conducted over the internet. After artist’s selection, in the month of October 2017, EAS & the curator conducted a closed community blog as an intrinsic part of the project, which was hosted by Emergent Art on their website.

The aim of the blog was to foster exchange and to facilitate a deeper understanding and knowledge of the other, to create a dialogical process aimed at encouraging and exchanging thoughts, ideas, images and texts about their works and their experiences, getting to know each other, exploring the others’ worlds, the ones similar as well as those more distant, for background, experience, country and culture. The underlying intent was to look beyond stereotypes and build lasting bridges between differences and distant points. The blog saw regular posts and interaction by the artists on various concerns and topics ranging from gender and body issues, to post colonial identity, transmigration and many more.
Dengke Chen 1, Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha
After the month long blogging process each artist created new works for a tri-city show in India (Kolkata in January, Delhi in February & Bangalore in March 2018). All the works created are of digital format – whether photography, video, book art, augmented reality & animation or sound works, each has been created keeping in mind that the sharing process is also virtual in nature. The curator has been in constant touch over the internet, guiding and mentoring the artists. All the finalized works were sent to her, whereupon she downloaded them and got them ready in their physical avatar for the live shows.

According to Sahu, “Taking inspiration from Newton’s adage - We build too many walls and not enough bridges, Project BUILDING BRIDGES has aimed to encourage 13 young artists from across the globe to come together and foster a voice of reason and dialogue that will help create a platform for empathy, and understanding through art, creativity and exchange.”

Project BUILDING BRIDGES continues at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore till 28th March 2018.

*press release

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