May 28, 2015 - Vancouver Art Gallery - Offsite: Reena Saini Kallat
May 28, 2015

Offsite: Reena Saini Kallat

Reena Saini Kallat, Woven Chronicle, 2015. Circuit boards, speakers, electrical wires and fittings, site-specific installation at Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Offsite: Reena Saini Kallat
May 14–October 12, 2015

Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite
1128 West Georgia Street
Vancouver BC V6E 0A8

Mumbai-based artist Reena Saini Kallat traces human movement and cultural exchange around the world. Woven Chronicle is comprised of an intricate web of handwoven electrical wires that entwine to resemble a chain-link fence. The strands create a map of the world overlaid with migration routes that connect people and commodities while simultaneously contributing to cultural barriers. The work references the active transfer of information and energy that results from the mobility and intersection of travelers, and is further accentuated by an ambient soundtrack that evokes the buzz and reverberations of telecommunications, industry and travel. 

In the context of Vancouver’s changing urban and cultural landscapes, Woven Chronicle returns to the very origins of ethnic and cultural diversity. While Canada celebrates a myriad of ethnicities and cultures, issues of discrimination and inequality are still felt among immigrant and resident populations. The porous surface of Kallat’s map reveals proverbial holes in the naïve utopian idea of a unity through diversity, offering a contemplative sketch of the globalized world. 

Woven by the artist and assistants from rural villages in India, the map implicates both the artist and the labour of migrant workers who travel to urban centres for economic survival—not only in India, but throughout the world. As a result, the work becomes a complex embroidery of human convergence and its accompanying narratives of connection and conflict.

About the artist 
Born in 1973 in New Delhi, Reena Saini Kallat was raised in Mumbai, where she is currently based. She graduated from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai in 1996 with a BFA in painting, but she works with video, sculpture and installation and often incorporates more than one medium into a single artwork. A strong social conscience prevails throughout Kallat’s practice, and it is the message that often dictates the medium she employs. More recently she has been working in the public realm, creating interactive installations that evoke environmental concerns and resonate with a broad international community.

Her artwork has been exhibited internationally in such venues as the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.; Saatchi Gallery, London; SESC Pompeia and SESC Belenzino, Sao Paulo; Göteborgs Konsthall, Sweden; Helsinki City Art Museum; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung City; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Casa Asia, Madrid and Barcelona; ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany; Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; IVAM Museum, Valencia; Busan MOMA; Kulturhuset, Stockholm and the Chicago Cultural Center, among others. Kallat is represented by Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai and Nature Morte, New Delhi.

Offsite, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s outdoor exhibition space, was launched in 2009. There have been 11  public artworks commissioned specifically for the site including sculpture, film, ceramic and photo-based installations. Offsite: Reena Saini Kallat is part of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art and is presented in association with the Asian Heritage Month and Indian Summer Festival. 

Vancouver Art Gallery Offsite is curated by Diana Freundl, Assistant Curator, Vancouver Art Gallery. 

Media information
Debra Zhou: T +604 662 4722 / M +604 671 2358 / dzhou [​at​]

About The Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foundations, the City of Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts. We thank everyone for their continuing generosity.


Vancouver Art Gallery presents Offsite: Reena Saini Kallat
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