bharti kher at the rockbund

Hm. I’m been quite neglectful with my posts about art, so here’s a bit about the art scene in Shanghai. The Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) is a stone’s throw from the gallery I work at, so I’ve been there quite a few times over the last few months. The current show is Bharti Kher: Misdemeanours, which will run until March 30th April 20th [exhibition extended]. And it’s pretty amazing.

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The Skin Speaks a Language Not Its Own, 2006

Bharti Kher is an English-born Indian artist (working mostly in sculpture), and although I’d never seen her stuff or heard of her before, I found the exhibition quite dramatic and thought-provoking. The highlight is most definitely the giant elephant, which is super nifty. I mean, it’s a giant elephant, how could it not be amazing? And on top of that, it’s covered in bindis … sperm-shaped bindis. A lot of her work refers to the female, nature, mythology, globalization, and so on, so bindis feature prominently in many of her works, as do maps, animals, and goddesses. Some very nice stuff, some kinda weird.

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What Can I Tell You That You Don’t Know Already?, 2013

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The Hot Wind that Blows from the West, 2011

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Not All Who Wander Are Lost, 2009-2010

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The Butcher, The Baker, the Candlestick Maker, 2008

My personal tastes tend to the clean, clear, and conceptual, so I especially liked the radiators (from New York!) and bricks (made from melted glass bangles). There were some maps covered in bindis near the revolving globes which were really cool, but I couldn’t get any good pictures due to the reflectiveness of the glass. But … there was one floor of photography and sculptures that was just … a bit disturbing.

This is Bharti Kher’s first solo exhibition in China, and it covers the entire six floors of the RAM. If you happen to use the subway in Shanghai, then you probably already know about it because there are billboards for it all over the stations. I’ve visited the exhibition three times, once for the opening, once for a talk, and once for a tour. The show runs for about another month, so if you’re in Shanghai, you should definitely go visit. Because it’s nifty. The Rockbund isn’t free, but it’s a drop in the bucket for what the exhibition is.

[Note: Some press material refers to the exhibition as Misdemeanors instead of the British spelling, but the catalogue uses Misdemeanours … so I’m including that extra letter, as annoying as it is.]

Bharti Kher: Misdemeanours
January 11th – March 30th April 20th, 2014

Rockbund Art Museum
20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 AM – 6 PM

One thought on “bharti kher at the rockbund

  1. Pingback: advance through retreat (or walk on by) | from here to (there)

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