Hamasha Se (Always) is an installation which explores many predominant themes of beauty upheld in South Asian culture. The Sari is a traditional form of dress that hails from India and is worn by women of every walk of life. It is essentially four yards of delicate patterned fabric that is draped around a woman's body. It is worn by lower class women who wear it during all activities of the day including physically demanding tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for children. It is also worn as a formal garment worn at special occasions such as weddings and religious festivals. It is worn by women of all ages and sizes. Many people in South Asian countries consider the first occasion that a girl wears a sari pinpoint the moment that she becomes a woman. This cloth in many ways is a symbol of female beauty, elegance and femininity.
For this installation I chose to drape and hang the saris from the ceiling in order to mimic the delicate way in which it is draped around the female figure. The long length and vibrant colours or the fabrics consume the space in a way that is unusual for the white cube. The fabric creates a very soft yet rich canvas for the projected video piece. The video piece was shot with in the style of 1950s Bollywood cinema. The footage pans in and out of a young Indian woman dressed in a sari. It focuses in on specific aspects of her body that typifies a beautiful woman, such as long hair, eyes, lips, and certain parts of her skin exposed by the sari. The stark contrast between black and white allows for certain patterns in the fabric to be picked up at certain times during the video. Accompanying the video is audio footage of an interview with my father, in which he talks about his mother and his memories of her wearing the sari everyday of her life while living throughout India and Pakistan. He speaks mostly in Urdu, in order to give a more personal feeling to the narrative and deliver it the way he would to his close family rather than an outside audience. The audio is meant to add to the atmosphere of the room and add to the sense of personal history and tradition.
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