2017 Homeland


‘Homeland’ an idea that evokes a feeling of belonging. We have chosen the theme for IPEP 2017 as Homeland, aiming at an emotional appeal that crosses the ethnic borders and hierarchy of societies. The concept of space that we call as home, bonds with the root that has a collective identity. It shapes our culture strongly yet so subconsciously that we sense the pull of the bond only when distance is created. The emotional connect with the personal to global context will be the key to the endeavour.

IPEP India 2017 – Catalogue
.pdf, 2MB

Mithu Joarder
Artist, Writer, India

The bond with the land, that shelters us, evokes a strange emotion. The air that we inhale and the sounds with which our body reverberates are not rooted to the ground, yet we try to find the root of the wind under the land. It is the uncanny, un-seen along with what we see and what we touch become part of us without our conscious awareness.

About more than a century and a quarter ago, Leo Tolstoy mirrored the insatiable greed for land in “How Much Land does a Man Need?” The title hits like a revelation of “… till thou return unto the ground…”. Seems like, we are racing with the plants to grab the earth and put our roots down under to sustain and spread over… more and more and never ending lust for land. The leader became king and the king became emperor and the people’s nations were built on the idea of defining maps of the land. The tattoos on the body of the earth created with the ink of patriotism. And the wars continue… for land.

Among the people, however, the ethnicity blended with multiple concoction, storing a memory in our DNA for generations . Each and every being, the plants, the insects along with humans, holding on for more and more space on earth. The ever changing land and our constant longing to embrace it, linger as a primordial reality.

Alejandra Leyes’s work depicts the root through which we sustain and reaches the ancient tradition of South America. The fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting called “Pachamama” evoked in the work.

The universal custom of our civilized world expects the girl to leave her home behind and start a new home after marriage. Is it an oppression that is imposed on women or is it a recognition of her immense potent power of creation that she is capable to recreate another home. Anjali Goel tries to find the answer in her work.

Adrian Sandu overwhelmed by mountains as rocks, the primordial earth reflects on the power of the inert to form life. The threat of extinction of certain animals concerns Atita Taware and Hannah King as a question mark to the right to homeland. Is the land only for humans and will humans survive if we grab too much?

Dimple Shah and Julia Wakefield reflect on the dilemma of the emigrants to belong and their nostalgia.

Motoko Chikamatsu can feel the distinct air of his country and knows that is what stimulates him towards art and wants to capture the very warmth of the space.

Stephanie Carpenter metaphorically constructs the history of the land exactly as the home is built, brick by brick.

The power of politics, economy and valor have been wanting to scrape a mark on this land. Simultaneously, our collective emotions pull us towards the place for which we feel intensely. Some are fortunate to never have left their land and some wander about for the ever elusive home.


Marks on Earth

Barbed fencing,
Declaring the possession of the land
Naming of nations,
Part of home – the land.
Land, that’s cracked by the roots,
Flooded by the rivers,
Resurfacing as islands.
And our audacious celebrations,
Labeling the Earth
With bloodbath.

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You Are in My Future, I Am in Your Past – Where West Meets East
Robin Lasser
Professor of Art, SJSU, California

We are entering a time of mass migration. Today there are more people in forced migration than any other time since World War II. Everybody has a story of migration, how they ended up where they are today. All species migrate but humans can make art and tell stories about it.

In my migration story, I identify as Ms. Homeland Security: The Illegal Entry Dress Tent. I am installed at the border fence that separates the place where I grew up, San Diego, USA, with Tijuana, Mexico.

Currently I am standing on another iconic structure; glare tinting my vision as I gaze out to sea. Container ships from every nation, filled with everything possible, float under the belly of the Golden Gate Bridge. I think about those who have leaped from the edge of this structure to their death, bodies hurling straight down, penetrating the black and blue sea. I hear the city is planning on lacing safety nets below the bridge with the intention of catching lost souls mid-way, before hitting the freezing water. I find myself wondering about safety, security, borders, crossings of all sorts. This is the 80th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge; a connective tissue that is neither here nor there. We are no longer land bound but leaving often hurts.

I would like to take you on a journey with me, entering the worlds created by a bevy of international print-makers responding to the theme of homeland. When culling through the materials I noted many of the artists worked in two arenas: ecology and identity.

Artist Abhishekh Chaurasia, calls our attention to the natural world and the imperative to preserve and protect the animal kingdom. Atita Taware Thane’s work calls attention to the Bush Frog and how habitat loss is emblematic of the global extinction of amphibians. Hannah-Amelia King’s print is a cautionary tale that connects the loss of land and birds due to anthropogenic domination. Adrian Sandu, Alejandra Leyes, Sucheta Ghadge, Yuko Yotsuzuka, and Aditi Kulkarni reference the need to care for the earth and the importance of environmental stewardship. Indrajit Prasad and Pallavi Mool’s prints illustrate the balancing act between the natural and built world. Kaoru Higashi’s work speaks to the fragility of healthy systems as they relate to flora and fauna. Nandini Pantawane and Motoko Chikamatsu’s prints celebrate the air that we breath and the imperative to protect our bodies and the land as they are interconnected.

Anjali Goel’s work explores domestic migration, the transformation of her identity as she assumes the role of “wife.” Ari Alpert’s print also alludes to domesticity and the stability of connecting to the outside world once a secure internal sense of self is developed. Asmaa Hasmi and Varsha Baptiste reference culture and identity via the trauma of immigration as it relates to dislocation and colonization. Rajesh Ambalkar’s piece suggests we retain our unique identity despite crossing borders. Dimple Shah’s print speaks to the territory inhabited by those who migrate and feel they live in a space that is neither here nor there, and the struggle to find self in this new 3rd space. Julia Wakefield’s dynamic image also speaks to triads, this time the role of the transnational whose family exists in three different homelands. Deepak Sinkar’s work speaks to the role chance plays in the migration of the soul. Durgadas Garai, an “outsider” who has not personally experienced the dislocation of immigration, turns to work that explores compassion as a way of knowing the “other.” Justyna Dziabaszewska’s work, based on the drawings by Durer, contemplates the melancholy induced by government sanctioned tyranny and oppression. Pandurang Deoghare’s powerful work explores and refutes the romance of migration and insists instead that people immigrate because there is no other choice. Silvia Gaona’s piece equates her homeland with death, violence, and destruction and envisions a print based on the Mexican Day of the Dead. Milind Atkale addresses social responsibility for those without a permanent home and the relationship of the homeless to those who migrate and are displaced. Kelsey Livingston, Krishna Reddy, Paula Brasil, Shirish Mitbawkar, Venugopal V.G., and Vishakha Apte explore migration through the lens of memory, nostalgia for childhood experiences and the protection, and the warmth affiliated with ancestral and contemporary notations of home. Stephanie Carpenter’s collection and unification of color field blocks and Yuki Tsuboyama’s desire for beauty and harmony suggest we are all one and need to work together to insure survival. Yogesh Ramkrishna’s print also seeks the universal when depicting the complex and sometimes oppositional relationship we have with our homeland.

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