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Digital Print on Fine Art Paper
Edition of 100
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Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
This artwork pays homage to Singapore + Malaysia’s ‘older’ generation; they come from a generation where there were no computers, mobile phones or online banking. A culture where political and cultural tension was ever present, yet a time when there was never a shortage of stories and songs.
Most people lived in ‘Kampungs’, communities of wooden bungalows surrounded by trees, mud, chicken and livestock. Neighbours popped in and out; children played outside, and the smell of cooking was always in the air. Fast forward to 2018, and we have a global, affluent, efficient society living in vertical high rises, mechanically earning livelihoods, often locked out of their own nuanced, cultural + social narratives.
The overriding success story of Singapore has often come at the cost of rendering its founding individuals redundant or worse…invisible. Cheekily using George Orwell’s title ‘Animal Farm’, Ketna brings forth an allegory of sorts; a senior citizen reverie that invites us to enter the imagination of the three individuals in the artwork.
The seated couple look lost in their thought, and the standing man is wearing dark shades; one cannot quite read his expression nor his eyes. The building facades behind them represent a physical / aesthetic sensibility that is fading fast. One by one, as each representative pillar holding up our past comes tumbling down, we slowly become replaced by a caricaturized version of who we ought to be. Unfortunately, the ‘new’ world seems only interested in the external. Internally, we are all animals trapped in an orwellian farm!
Please note that each print has a surrounding 10cm white border.
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Based in: India & UK
Ketna is a highly prolific British-Indian multi media artist. Born in East Africa, educated in UK, and based in South East Asia + India for the last twenty five years, she uses her training in Design and Architecture to map observations gleaned from her compulsive travels onto an existentialist, yet to be defined new global anthropology that is fast emerging.
Having recently transplanted her studio from Singapore to two 'travelling studios' in the UK and India, she describes herself as being deeply tri-cultural; grounded in an evolving human identity beyond the rapidly evaporating boundaries of culture, nationality and geography. She believes that for most artists, there is no divide between their ‘private’ life and their ‘professional’ output. All realizations and insights gleaned from inter-personal relationships, travels, media etc can be transmuted into a heightened awareness / expression of where human society is at today, and possibly where it may be heading towards....
Patel's work has been exhibited at Museums, Galleries and Art Fairs all over the world. Aside from being the recipient of the prestigious ASEAN Art Award, Ketna is also a popular TV and Radio personality, and her Art has also been much sought after by the Entertainment Business. Some of her clients include IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) and Hollywood Director Spike Lee. A voracious photographer, she was recently invited by SONY to be a brand ambassador for their digital camera advertising campaign, which was beamed to millions of people all over the world for more than six months. She has licensed her artwork for many applications; the last being an ongoing contract with the giant Austrian Furniture maker ADA to make Art-bed headboards inspired by European history. Likewise, she was also commissioned by Singapore based fashion label ‘AllDressedUp’ for their Spring/Summer 2010 collection, which was shown in 25 countries. She regularly supports charity / fund raising initiatives e.g in April 2015, she was invited by Singapore's AWARE and WOAM (Women on a mission) to stage a solo exhibition to raise money for the recent Nepal earthquake. In 2012, she painted a giant fibreglass elephant for the internationally famous ‘Elephant Parade’, and in the same altruistic vein, was also recently was a brand ambassador for ‘KIEHLS’, the cosmetic company to raise money for autism. In 2011, Tata Motors (India) commissioned her to convert one of their ‘Nano’ Cars into a work of Art, which she did using Italian glass mosaic by SICIS. Recently, the Salsali Private Museum in Dubai acquired and exhibited her now famous artwork ‘Asian Grandfathers’. Aside from being commissioned by several hotels and restaurants in Singapore and the U.K, Patel has participated in talks, workshops and exhibitions worldwide. Her works continue to be collected and exhibited in numerous institutions and international private collections.
Alongside her studio work, from 2013 – 2018, Ketna has been organizing and participating in ‘Rural – Urban’ divide village projects in India and the U.K. to continue investigating the ramifications of Globalization on 'Identity', 'Populism' and 'Nationhood'.
In 2018, she was presented with the UK-India Youth leader award, and consequently selected to be part of the steering committee for the Commonwealth Business Women’s network (both headquartered in London). Ketna is also a member of the non profit Thinktank organization ‘BRIDGEINDIA’ (http://www.bridgeindia.org.uk)
Ketna Patel’s artwork challenges our prejudices and pretensions about art, in much the same way that early Western Pop artists did. “Using different cultures and historical events, I juxtapose mythological characters, Gods, Political icons and the common man on the same canvas. This is a romance between the old and the new, once prohibited by stringent cultural, political, and class boundaries that have hemmed in most of us”.
More Works by Ketna Patel
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