New Indians - Chintan Upadhyay

29 May - 29 June 2008


"New Indians" By Chintan Upadhyay


Chintan Upadhay explores two different modes of expression. The stylistic and iconographic combination reflects what India looks like today. An insane synthesis of a fully integrated traditional culture in a more and more modern and cosmopolitan society.

Chintan Upadhay's art reveals this duality which has rhythm his entire life.

After studying art in Gujarat, he left for Bombay where he discovered a varied western culture which has since inspired his creations mainly in the series of "Mutants" presented at the Galerie Natalie Seroussi.

This "mutation" process is not a coincidence: it is stylistic but also social. Upadhay's "hybrids" are usually represented on their own, on a monochrome square format: this is the way chosen by the artist to express the feeling of loneliness that one can experience in big modern cities, neglecting to consider inhabitants desires, but creating the need of living in a city closed to zones of activities.

The artist uses colours taken from traditional Indian Art and transcribes them into flat tints. The flat tints reinforce the denunciation of the modern consuming society, which creates a controversial image: soft and violent at the same time: the "mutants" are big, fat tattooed (traditional Indian custom) independent babies. The artist combines tradition and his will of inscribing himself in a contemporary vision of India, which is currently mutating and expanding.

By associating both babies with robotised bodies to traditional miniatures, very often issued from the Kama Sutra, he actually confronts his works to two different approaches, a cultural one, and a standard one, such as clones.

Therefore does he outline the issue linked to identity: in which cases and where does individuality finds it's place nowadays.

Chintan Upadhay emphasises the two actual strengths of modern India, the robotization of its society and its incredible demographic pulse. The choice of representing male babies is not obsolete in a country where, even nowadays, especially in Rajasthan it is preferable to give birth to boys.

This approach does not outline the difficulties arising from this major demographic situation but shows what the situation is like today.

At a time where integration and openness are part of an inevitable process of globalisation, mentalities are due to evolve.

Chintan Upadhay has proven it by creating his first feminine hybrid which will be presented at the exhibition "New Indians" at the Galerie Natalie Seroussi.