Manjot Kaur’s drawings, paintings, and time-based media summon the mystical, scientific, and absurd to draw attention to current sociopolitical predicaments and the sovereignty of nature. Borrowed imagery and text bridge the past and present, while imaginative, fantasy-inducing zones of abstraction invite viewers to contemplate the legacies of the landscapes we occupy and exploit. At the root, her works question the very nature of the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the food that we eat.
Crosspollinating ancient mythologies, she counter-narrates iconic motifs and attributes, or sets them in juxtaposition with in a conceptual and abstract approach beyond the associations with human reproductive organs and childbirth. She asks “What are the implications of fertility and the desire to procreate in present times? How should we respond to current needs while also holding space to think about both human and non-human generations to come?”
At times Kaur sets these concerns within mystical landscapes that meld images of regeneration, reproduction, cosmology, and microbiology. At the center of these universes are fragile embryos, at turns more diagrammatic or lyrical, interwoven through vegetal and bacterial blooms. As humans and nature continue to adapt to ever-changing, increasingly hostile environments, Kaur’s nucleic cells offer both dire warnings and insulated, if uncertain, spheres of refuge.
Manjot is the recipient of scholarship by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, New Delhi for a stand-alone residency in Unidee, Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistolleto, Italy. She has received professional category Annual Award, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi (State Academy of Art), Chandigarh, India, 2018; Sohan Qadri Fellowship, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (State Academy of Art), Chandigarh, India 2017; Professional and Student Category Annual Award, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, India, 2017 and 2012, respectively and Scholarship to Young Artists, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, India in 2011. She was chosen by Hindustan Times as one of the Top 30 under 30 young achievers in 2017.
She has been an artist in residence at Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, Netherlands 2020-21, Unidee, Citadellarte – Fondazione Pistolleto, Italy for the year 2018 on full scholarship by Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation, New Delhi; Museo Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno (Italy) – a cross-institutional program with Clark House Initiative, Mumbai, India; Khoj International Artists’ Association – Peers18, New Delhi; Mythos – Land Art Biel/Bienne, Switzerland 2017; Gram Art Project - funded by FICA, India 2016; Harmony Art Foundation, Mumbai, India 2015; Global Nomadic Art Project, India 2015.
Her works are in the collection of Museo Casa Masaccio Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea, San Giovanni Valdarno (Italy), Govt. Museum and Art Gallery, Chandigarh, India, Personal collection Prof. B. N. Goswamy, India and Tellusart, Sweden.
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