Legacies of CrossingsAffan Baghpati | Sophia Balagamwala | Kavan Balasuriya | Samanta Batra Mehta

Amba Sayal Bennett | Palash Bhattacharjee | Noor Ali Chagani | Akanksha Kamath

Saba Khan | Gunjan Kumar | Natasha Malik | Firi Rahman | Anushka Rustomji

Legacies of Crossings explores the profound impact of migration upon immigrants and their subsequent generations. This group exhibition, displaying the art of 13 artists from South Asia and its diaspora, delves into the experiences of leaving one's homeland, the challenges and triumphs of arrival, and the enduring connections that transcend borders. In this show, artists explore their own journeys - the joys and traumas of navigating new cultures, the lingering memories of home, and the ways these experiences shape their lives and their art.

South Asia experienced deeply impactful and scarring displacements which are explored in the work of the artists in this exhibition. The reverberations of these migrations have shaped our contemporary landscape and have continued to be felt generations after the initial displacements. Palash Bhattacharjee, through his focus upon the Kalurghat bridge in Chittagong, explores his family’s movements and relationships through these upheavals. South Asia is continuing to grapple with its colonial legacy and contemporary national narratives, Sophia Balagamwala films explore these entanglements. Akanksha Kamath’s poetry and sound piece delves into her grandmother’s experience of India and Pakistan’s partition in 1947 and Kamath’s own experience of home. Using the imagery of caged birds, Firi Rahman also explores the meaning of belonging, for those forced to seek asylum.

The exhibition explores the complexities of displacement and the influences these individuals have on their adopted communities. They carry knowledge from home, and absorb knowledge on their journeys. Kavan Balasuriya’s work incorporates shared architectural motifs from South Asia into his etchings, highlighting the region’s shared experiences. In her art, Amba Sayal-Bennet’s highlights adoptions and migrations within architecture, as she explores modernist forms and motifs within brutalist architectural practices.

Contemporary conflicts and policies continue to make crossing borders difficult, cruel, and a means of control as highlighted in the work of Saba Khan. While Natasha Malik’s autobiographical work explores the female experience of agency, identity  and sexuality in a gendered  realm defined by patriarchal structures.

In Legacies of Crossings, contemporary artworks are placed alongside objects and artworks that themselves have undergone migration. These antique objects have traveled across continents and through time  carrying with them silent narratives. They provide insights to the individuals and cultures to which they belonged, and to those that eventually adopted them. Via historic trade routes and contemporary conflicts, these objects have traversed fascinating routes and absorbed legends and histories.  Affan Baghpati’s use of discarded objects in his art similarly re-contextualizes objects, giving them a new purpose. Noor Ali Chagani’s sculptures explore the materiality and messaging upon contemporary urban landscapes, where societal dissent, creative expression or observations are represented upon contemporary urban walls and pillars.

This exhibition celebrates the stories encased in visual imagery, oral traditions and materiality from the region, and the cultural dialogues they invoke. Samanta Batra Mehta’s work often constructs imagined histories from antiquated objects, writings and found materials. Gunjan Kumar, explores the messaging available to us  through archaeological excavations, local pigments, and indigenous textiles. Anushka Rustomji’s work is a similar exploration of the mythological and mystical traditions of the global south and their visual representations. Regional legacies and global histories are continuing to be formed. Legacies of Crossings invites you to witness the power of movement  and its lasting influence on identity, creativity, and the world we share.

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