Rina Banerjee

Rina Banerjee | India | "Monkeys made green, silver bodies, long grey tails, hair thin and spray – all flew out of their pink empty vessel" & "Scented worlds" | 2007 | each 81 cm x 61 cm | Ink, acrylic and paint on paper

References to Eastern and Western cultures mix in Rina Banerjee’s large-format filigree-like material assemblages and detail-rich works on paper. The artist, born in Calcutta in 1963, emigrated to the United States with her family in her childhood years; she graduated from the Yale University School of Art in 1995 and still lives in New York. As a wanderer between worlds, in her work Banerjee explores British colonialism in India, the perception of the homeland and that which is foreign, as well as the search for cultural identity.

Using everyday materials such as feathers, wire, spices, plastic foil, umbrellas and bright, colourful sari fabrics, the artist crafts imaginative structures that span the entire creative range between the artificiality of intellectual design and the immediacy of organic origins. In her colour-intensive watercolours, to which she additionally applies shimmering materials, Banerjee develops magnificent scenarios inspired from Indian legends, in which beings with overlong nails and flowing hair appear to gently float, prisoners of an exotic environment.