Tate Britain portico gets stunning transformation from Chila Kumari Singh Burman

Tate Britain portico gets stunning transformation from Chila Kumari Singh Burman

‘’I am a mess,’ announces the iconic statue of Britannia, which is overlapped by the figure of Hindu Goddess Kali–the saviour, the protector, and the destructor deity and a modern feminist icon–in a stunning transformation of the front of the Tata Britain building which is now illuminated by the magnificent installation by the Indian origin British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman.

Titled ‘Remembering A Brave New World’ the vinyl, bling and neon installation takes inspiration from the countless struggles of the recent times and proffers the hope of a brighter future which Burman has done by infusing her childhood memories with symbolism of her indian heritage including india mythology and pop culture influences like posters of bollywood superstars and Punjabi rockers. Also finding a place in this idiosyncratic collection is Rani Lakshmi Bai, the great Queen of Jhansi whose valour and sacrifice in the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the Britshers has made her an immortal legend with her story been told in countless narratives through the centuries.

Proclaiming love, life, shine beside aim, dream, truth, the brightly lit installation was inaugurated on Diwali which is celebrated as the festival of light and joy and also features ‘ice cream’ which has been a recurrent theme in Singh Burman’s art practices. A swirl cone stands lopsided atop a figure of Ganesha and on the landing of the grand staircase is an illuminated ice cream van inspired by her dad who had arrived in the UK from India in the1950s and owned an ice cream van.

Often described as a South Asian Pop artist, Kumari was in Liverpool and a self professed ‘Punjabi Liverpudlian’ who enmeshes her punjabi indian roots with pop culture.

Working with different mediums including printmaking, drawing, painting, installation and film, Burman has been gained international acclaim across the world for her radical feminist practice.

One of her most famous works Auto Portrait is made up of 28 smaller portraits of her and it took her 12 years to make.

The installation will be exhibited at the Tate Britain till January end.

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