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art, voice and gender

September 13, 2011

Suzanne’s post “translation, voice and gender” (on  “the many different factors that have influenced the translation of Xinran’s … first book, The Good Women of China, … Sky Burial [and] … China Witness“) reminded me of this:


It’s a painting by Gogi Saroj Pal, who says these things:

“I don’t believe in any ‘ism’. . . .  The basic premise of my art is that a woman’s reality is different from the society’s and I try to present that reality.  A society has set norms and a woman is expected to play a stereotypical role.  Art is all about expression.  That is where the contradiction comes in.  As a woman the society expects you to be a conformist, but as an artist, you aspire to be different. . . .  My subject determines the medium. Sometimes, where I am placed also dictates it. If I am unwell, for instance, I will paint small paper works. I am comfortable working with different media, but if I don’t work in a particular medium for a while, I have to relearn my relationship with it. I have to break earlier formulas to evolve every time. . . .  The reality of my subject is based on where I am placed.  Since I live in India, I love to explore and understand the reality of the Indian woman, which varies too.  The reality of the Indian rural woman, for example, is different from the reality of the urban woman. . . .  Since I was a child I needed my own space to express my creativity. Painting provides me this space.”

Here’s more: “Celebrating womanhood with a brush’s stroke

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 13, 2011 5:38 pm

    This might be a painting that is hard to interpret cross-culturally (remarkable though it is) because of such basic factors as the role of cows in traditional Hindu worship. In other words, this art is hard to “translate.”

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