Hema Upadhyay

India, 1972 - 2015

The notion of exile, dislocation and personal recognition are at the center of Hema Upadhyay’s artistic exploration. Using photography, collage, sculptural installations and painting to express her torn identity, she constantly seeks to belong, whether literal or metaphorical. The artist’s autobiographical works on creation and destruction pertain to a dichotomy of senses, in a home of its own. Art is the place where she can let go of all that sorrow and feeling of alienation, loss, nostalgia, excitement, memories, repression, and let the energy become building. Ironically like in the urban cities of India, Upadhyay’s art is filled with the idea of transfer and change, where the textures are multiple, the layers are plenty, elements of shade are present, and protruding symbolism is massive, toppled with cultural rituals, all come alive.

Hema Upadhyay was born in Baroda, India in 1972. She graduated in 1995 with a BFA in painting and in 1997 with a MFA in printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baroda. Selected exhibitions include; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Helsinki Art Museum, Aichi Triennial 2010, Nagoya Japan, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway, Saatchi Gallery, London, Museum on the Seam, Israel, Orangery Lower Belvedere, Vienna Austria, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, IVAM Valencia Spain, Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai, Stux Gallery, New York, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan Anant Art Center, New Delhi, Mart Museum, Italy, Espace Claude Berri, Paris, Sakshi Gallery and Soka Contemporary Art Center, Taipei, The Zimmerli Art Museum, and Chicago Cultural Center, USA, Nature Morte, New Delhi, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Art Space Sydney, Australia to name a few. Upadhyay received the National Scholarship and the Gujarat State Award in 1996 and won the Tenth Indian Triennial in 2001. She was also part of the Art Space residency in Sydney in 2001 and Vasl Residency in Karachi in 2003. The artist lives and works in Mumbai, India.

Image: Photo by Art Fundamental