Punjabi Liverpudlian artist to unveil glittery Tate Britain installation for Diwali

Punjabi Liverpudlian artist to unveil glittery Tate Britain installation for Diwali

Chila Kumari Singh Burman will create a stunning new installation for Tate Britain’s annual Winter Commission in London. To be unveiled in time for Diwali, the Festival of Lights, on November 14, Burman’s work will combine references to Indian mythology, popular culture, female empowerment, political activism and colonial legacies.

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain, said: “I am extremely excited to see Chila’s transformation of Tate Britain’s classical façade, launching to coincide with Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

“Every year these commissions bring a new dimension to our building, adding a sense of joy and surprise to the museum’s public face throughout the winter months.”

Drawing on her Punjabi heritage and Liverpudlian working-class background, Burman’s work explores the multiplicity of South Asian identities within a British context. She is celebrated for her interdisciplinary practice, which span printmaking, painting, installation and film, created largely in her studio at Hackney in east London.

“I’m a painter, printmaker, etching silkscreen printer mixed-media artist, moving image artist; high art meets popular culture – I think that’s essentially what I’m interested in,” explains Burman, who was born in Bootle, Liverpool, to Punjabi parents.

Her practice is often inspired by her childhood and her father who owned an ice cream van. For the Winter Commission at the world-famous Tate Britain art museum, she will create a collage of a wide range of source material. From Bollywood to Hollywood, glitter and bling will meet in a celebration of brilliant neon light and swirling colour.

The artist has described her work as “messy, surreal, abstract, zen, feminist, anarchic, figurative, textured, layered and all blinged-up with a razor-sharp political awareness”.

Brought up in Liverpool and educated at the Slade School of Art in London, Burman’s work is held in a number of public and private collections including Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Wellcome Trust in London, and the Devi Foundation in New Delhi.

‘Tate Britain Winter Commission: Chila Kumari Singh Burman’ is curated by Clarrie Wallis, Senior Curator, Tate Britain and supported by the Tate Britain Winter Commission 2020 Supporters Circle.

It is the fourth in a series of outdoor commissions to mark the winter season, following works by Alan Kane in 2017, Monster Chetwynd in 2018 and Anne Hardy in 2019.

*To explore more such inspiring art and artists, join DiwaliFest 2020 here

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