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Spotlight on Chila Kumari Singh Burman at ‘Collected Light: From Legacy to Future’ Exhibition at H Queen's, Hong Kong

Date: March 9, 2024 - April 6, 2024

Location: H Queen’s, Central, Hong Kong


Throughout March, the art scene in Hong Kong was set aglow with the exhibition at H Queen's, perfectly timed with the city's bustling arts month and coinciding with prestigious art fairs like Art Basel and Art Central.

Chila Kumari

‘Collected Light: From Legacy to Future’ emerged as a pop-up exhibition inspired by the pioneering design of The Henderson by Zaha Hadid Architects, celebrating the intersection of light and art. It featured a diverse group of eight multidisciplinary women light artists from various cultures, each bringing forward their innovative visual art, sculptures, digital installations, and moving image works.


Among the featured artists was Chila Kumari Singh Burman, a British Indian figure celebrated for her radical feminist practice that delves into themes of representation, gender, and cultural identity. Burman’s contribution spans a broad array of mediums, from printmaking to film, each piece pulsating with the vibrant exploration of her chosen themes.


Burman shares insights into her creative process and the inspiration behind her art in this exhibition. "It all started with the Tate Britain façade commission," she recalls. "I wanted to bring joy into the world, especially as we were going into Covid and darkness. Using light was important because everything was closed, and I wanted it to be seen in the evening."


Her work for Tate Britain, which featured vibrant neons, Indian goddesses, and her father's ice cream van, was a celebration of her heritage and a statement against colonialism. "It was a lot to do because it's a very colonial, imperious building. I wanted to do it in opposition to all of that because, as we know, Britain ruled India. I included Indian deities because it opened on the same day as Diwali."


Chila Kumari

Chila Kumari

‘Remembering A Brave New World’, Burman's piece for the 'Collected Light' exhibition continues this theme of joy and cultural celebration. "The peacock, an Indian symbol, went straight from Tate Britain to a light collective in London and then to here. It's not really been seen very much, so I'm excited for it to be part of this exhibition."


When asked about the importance of diversity and representation of women, Burman emphasizes, "Diversity is really important. England is a very diverse culture, and we need to promote diversity in every single country in the world. We're not represented enough as women anywhere, and stereotypes are bad. So we need to have better representation of women everywhere."


Looking ahead, Burman is excited about her upcoming projects, including a solo show in Liverpool, a retrospective in 2026, a glass sculpture for Venice, and a collaboration with the Royal Mint. "Life is too short, may as well make the most of it," she concludes with a smile.


'Collected Light: From Legacy to Future' not only showcases the brilliance of women light artists but also sparks conversations about diversity, representation, and the power of art to illuminate our world.



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