Art from the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective in Washington, D.C.

Friday, March 1 – Saturday, April 13, 2013
Friday, March 1, 7-9pm – Opening reception, featuring Unraveling, a performance by Marcy Chevali
Saturday, April 13, 3:30-5:30pm – Artists’ Talk and Performance, Monica Jahan Bose’s “Indelible Scent”
5:30-7pm Closing reception

@ The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery
Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
1632 U Street NW
Washington, D.C., 20009

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery is honored to present Be/Longing, debuting the work of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) in Washington, D.C. The artists in the exhibition are Samira Abbassy, Jaishri Abichandani, Nida Abidi, Amina Ahmed, Shelly Bahl, Marcy Chevali, Ruby Chishti, Chitra Ganesh, Monica Jahan Bose, and Sa’dia Rehman.

Be/Longing is a story of rapture and struggle and fierce female identity, saturated with history, religion, and an explosive mix of ideas and materials. The artists tackle the politics of gender, hierarchy, and sexuality within the framework of a post-colonial, globalized world. Be/Longing also addresses how diasporic women – each with her own ambiguous identity and multiple allegiances – navigate “belonging” to a country, a place, and a collective.

Artists in Be/Longing reference the body, directly or metaphorically, whole or dismembered, to address the duality of female experience. Abichandani (India/USA) uses whips and crystals to make “drawings,” alluding to both ecstasy and domination. Chishti’s (Pakistan/USA) poetic soft figures made of nylon stockings are headless females with just breasts and genitalia. Bose (Bangladesh/USA) uses saris and other garments in her work to represent the female body and sexuality. In her video, Abidi (USA/India) interchanges a veiled woman with paparazzi taking photos of pop idols, addressing the global fetishization of women’s bodies. Ganesh (USA/India) draws on mythology and pop culture to create images with alternate narratives of sexuality and power in a world where untold stories keep rising to the surface. Emboldened by collective action, these marginalized voices defy regional and sexual boundaries to connect with the greater question of what it is to “belong.”

Curated by Monica Jahan Bose and Brooke Seidelmann

Be/longing was reviewed in the Washington Post! Please click below to read!

Washington Post BeLonging Review

Be/Longing Review by Sita Reddy

BeLonging Review by Sita Reddy

The artwork:

Images from the opening!