Hybrid Being 1
37.5 x 50.4 cm
Watercolor and Gouache on Paper
This painting narrates a story about the relationship between Utkanayika Nayika (the heroine who waits anxiously for her lover) and The White Bellied Heron.
Utkanayika (heroine) is sitting on a bed of Champaca flowers waiting for her lover The White Bellied Heron. Her face is consciously metamorphosed with the bird, the now critically endangered bird. The bird seems to be flying away in another direction.
The work proposes new forms of social relationships between humans and endangered birds, as well as rethinking the notions of identity and dependency. Searching forms for relationality, reciprocity, and mutuality within natural, ancestral and human worlds, I wonder what happens when boundaries between human and non-human worlds intersect?
About: Hybrid Beings
These works aim to decolonize women’s bodies and the sovereignty of nature. To envision new ontological entanglements it intersects boundaries of speculative fiction, archetypal allegories, and precarious ecologies.
The paintings below propose a number of situations and stories to imagine forms of relationality and mutuality between bird species (both endangered and extinct) and selected heroines who belong to the Ashta-Nayika [Natyashastra, c. 2nd B.C]: a collective term for eight heroines, each of whom represents different states in relationship to her hero resulting in hybrid beings(they/them). These hybrid beings operate on different layers of interpretation. The hybrid beings respond to the ecological grief and loneliness by postulating a queer ecology where the endangered bird becomes the hero, replacing the male patriarchal figure from the context of Ashta-Nayika.
The Hybrid Beings generate hope and care to cultivate the capacity to reimagine a future for the marginalized and silenced. They speculate on near futures and rethink the notions of identity and interdependency. The hybrid beings become a window to peek into future and past animals (beings)(myths) that have gone extinct with the evolution and those that are yet to evolve either naturally or with bio-geo-hacking of present-day technology. They stitch together improbable collaborations between humans and more-than-humans, making way for kinship. Hybrid Beings push back against the centering of the human and move toward thinking that eradicates the hierarchy of being and challenges the life/non-life binary. They make way for an ontological pursuit of what it means to be human, what it means to be non-human, and where these categories rupture and collide.
These hybrid beings open up possibilities for a post-queer and post-human world where species move away from questions of identity, recognition, or representation towards an uncanny kind of becoming.
The situations and stories in these works evoke imagination in the viewer’s mind to remember the forgotten notions of care and symbiosis.