n. pl. cor·po·ra (-pr-)
1. A large collection of writings of a specific kind or on a specific subject.
2. A collection of writings or recorded remarks used for linguistic analysis.
3. The main part of a bodily structure or organ.
//Reviews of art. Art and language. Art and the body.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Portfolio: Chila Kumari Burman
25/03/15 Portfolio: Chila Kumari Burman
A Scouser and a Desi. A Hindu Punjabi. Chila Kumari Burman,
who grew up helping her dad with his ice cream van on Freshfields Beach, went
on to become one of the first British South Asian women to study at the Slade.
Her work – which she describes as challenging the notion of the Asian woman
caught between two cultures, instead
envisioning herself as beyond two
cultures – is now held by the likes of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Tate
and Richard Branson.
Among her influences, Burman lists Bollywood, Dada and
Surrealism, Hindu philosophy, Indian comics, popular culture and her mum. She
works a lot with prints, layering and relayering, printing and reprinting. Texture
is unimportant; the focus is on colour. The initial image becomes a blur. Burman
likes to work with “girlie junk” – bindis, make-up, hair accessories, flowers,
buttons and beads – as well as pictures of Bollywood stars and Hindu goddesses.
Words are superimposed from sources as diverse as an erotic fridge magnet set
and the New Internationalist.
Sexuality and forms of female sexual desire are intrinsic to
Burman’s work, all of which might be seen as a series of self-portraits, even
the larger-than-life ice cream cones sculptures. Everywhere there is plenty of
glitter and sparkle – and there couldn’t really be a better reflection of the
artist’s effervescent personality. One grinning black and white photograph of a
young Burman is scribbled over with the thought bubble: “Gonna be an artist,
y’know?” Well, girl, you certainly made it!