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Shahzia Sikander in Testimonies on Paper

The exhibition Testimonies on Paper: Art and Poetry of South Asian Women brings together an array of works on paper by South Asian women artists from the Hundal Collection along with South Asian women poets to create a space for alternative narratives of femininity and identity as the poets respond to the works exhibited. The works in the exhibition incorporate various motifs such as spirituality, gender, displacement, and longing that reflect the artists’ desire to make sense of their lives in the world around them. Exploring the many ways in which women artists have engaged with their cultures and societies through their work and how they have incorporated their experiences as South Asian women in their artworks by interrogating the impact of culture. 

The works in the exhibition serve as a testament to the resilience and agency of navigating within, around, and against the constraints of their societies and cultures both in South Asia and outside of it. The physical and emotional attachment and detachment that is involuntary for those who leave but also for those who stay behind, no matter what the motivation is for doing it; it involves confronting new situations and challenges throughout the process of separation, migration, relocation and adaptation to a new circumstance.

The South Asia Institute will host Testimonies on Paper: Art and Poetry of South Asian Women for public viewing from January 21, 2023 to June 10, 2023, curated by Andrea Moratinos and advised by poet Dipika Mukherjee.