INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
- Born in 1946 in Karachi, British India (now Pakistan)
- Lives and works in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India and Europe
UNDERSTANDING THE ARITST
Nalini Malani uses personal narratives and history to investigate the collective and the global. Virtual technology has given impetus to her projects as she explores, re-contextualises and re-orients multiplicities and histories. Her probing and representations of history are most interesting in her installations and video works that intertwine interconnections between cultures, religious iconography and the media which provide a space for these collective memories which have been silenced and marginalised.
She does not adhere to one particular political ideology. For her humanity and equality are the bases of political ideology. Her practice of art extends beyond the representation of contemporary India to locate it within a global and historical context. She reacts against consumerism, development myths, nuclear trials, and the dehumanising of her city Mumbai as it loses its natural spaces.
Malani also argues that myths are the universe having a universal language and collective consciousness as they are widely known they create a link with the viewer. She attempts to challenge not a tradition but convention as she foregrounds those stories which have been marginalised.
She was among the first Indian artists in Bombay to engage with installation and video art in an attempt to bring the audience into contact with the materiality of the issues that were being addressed. Various artistic forms have influenced her including writing and theatre. She creates multi-layered narratives as her works include elements of traditional folk arts, shadow play, kaleidoscope lantern and Kalighat paintings with divine images.
Malani uses personal narratives and history in her art practice and her works can be seen as a cathartic autobiography. Her attention has been on unconventional women – Mad Meg from Breughel’s painting, Medea, Sita, Radha, Alice from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. These women real or legendary have subverted male-dominated social customs to define new roles.
Nalini Malani, Video Sketch - Penelope, 2011, video installation, duration - 1 Min 6 Sec
Nalini Malani, Varaha, 2002, 152.5 X 99 cm
Nalini Malani, Rembering Toba Tek Singh, 1998-99, video installation, duration 20 minutes looped with sound
Nalini Malani, Nursery Tales, 2008, ink and enamel reverse painting on ac sheet, 60 x 30 in
Nalini Malani, In Search of Vanished Blood-1, 2012, digital pigment print with hand-painted acrylic on Hahnemuhle bamboo paper, 34 x 44in
Nalini Malani, Murmur of Maternal Lamentations, 2010, acrylic, ink and enamel reverse Painting On Acrylic, 72 X 36in
Nalini Malani, Listening to the Shades 7, 2008, acrylic, ink and enamel reverse painting on acrylic sheet
Nalini Malani, Connections - Later the Same Day, 2013, reverse painted acrylic, ink, and enamel on acrylic sheet on specially printed Hahnemuhle Bamboo paper, 60 x 30in
Nalini Malani, Cassandra, 2009, 30 panel polytych, acrylic, ink and enamel reverse painting on acrylic sheet, 227.5 x 396 cm
Nalini Malani, Discovery of the Body III, 2013, reverse painted acrylic, ink, and enamel on acrylic sheet, 10in diameter