Decibel a north West profile




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decibel

A North West profile




Contents


Acknowledgements and index 1

Foreword 2

Introduction 3

The artists 5

The arts organizations 22

Arts Council England contacts 36

Useful publications 37


Acknowledgements and index

Edited and coordinated by Ngozi Ikoku


Thanks to:


all the artists and arts organisations

Africa Oye 22

AWAD 23

Benji Reid 5

Black Arts Alliance (BAA) 23

Chaturangan 24

Chinese and West Cultural Exchange 25

Chinese Arts Centre 25

Circle of Literary Friends 26

Clement Cooper 6

Company Fierce 27

Cultural Fusion 28

Cultureword 28

Dinu Li 7

Donna Berry 8

Halima Cassell 8

J Chuhan 9

Juliet Ellis 10

Junko Mori 11

Kuljit Chuhan (aka. Kooj) 12

Kwong Lee 13

Levi Tafari 13

Liverpool Yemeni Arabic Club (LYAC) 29

Milap Festival Trust 30

Miso’shi 14

Multi Asian Arts Centre 30

Multi Culture Poets 31

Nina Edge 15

Osun Arts Foundation 32

Peshkar Productions 33

Rais Academy 34

Segun 16

Shamshad Khan 16

Shisha 34

Sonia Hughes 17

SuAndi 18

Suki Chan 19

Sundar Kanta Walker 20

The Singh Twins 21

Urban Voice 35


Arts Council England, North West staff, especially Aileen McEvoy,

Claire Hoang, Eunice Toh, Jane Beardsworth, Julie Leather, Michael Eakin

and Paulette Clunie


Eg.G

Jo Cartwright and Dom Raban


Foreword

The Arts Council is committed to ensuring that the arts are at the heart of our society. That means two things in particular. Firstly, we aim to ensure that our very best talent is able to fulfil its potential; to create an environment in which established and new artists are supported and valued. And secondly, we want to ensure that everyone in our society is able to engage with the arts, whether as artist, audience, or participant.


A fundamental part of fulfilling such a vision is ensuring that the arts truly reflect

all our communities. Everyone in our society is entitled to be able to enjoy the arts. And attaining the highest quality of arts in this country is dependent on ensuring that anyone with talent can develop and exercise it.


So, embedding diversity in all that we do is of fundamental importance. And a key priority is to develop opportunities for Black and minority ethnic artists and communities; to ensure that their creativity is allowed to flourish and that the arts in England truly reflect and celebrate their place in our society. In our planning, our expenditure, and programmes of work, we are ensuring that this priority is properly reflected.


We are also clear that we as an organization need to learn and to change. We now have a national Race Equality Strategy, and central to that is ensuring that the Arts Council itself truly reflects the society for which it works. Nationally and regionally we are developing action plans to that end.


decibel was a key national initiative aimed at raising the profile and strengthening the opportunities for artists in England of African, Caribbean, Asian or Chinese descent. Both nationally and regionally decibel has been a very important and productive strand of work. It has sat alongside, and helped stimulate further work, all of which is aimed at ensuring that cultural diversity is integral to our work, and to the arts in this country.


This book is just one part of our extensive programme of decibel work in the North West, work that will continue. It illustrates the quality and talent we have in the region in a way which I hope you find both interesting and of practical benefit. And, above all, I hope it helps in our aim to continue to grow the sector, and the arts generally, in the North West and beyond.


Michael Eakin

Executive Director

Arts Council England, North West


Introduction

Arts Council England’s major national initiative, decibel (May 2003–March 2004), was a short-term project designed to have a long-term impact on raising the

profile and strengthening the infrastructure of culturally diverse* arts in England.


Now in its official legacy period (which will run until 2008) decibel continues to

provide focus, additionality and resources to help redress the historical underfunding and lack of support for artists of African, Asian, Chinese and Caribbean descent based in England. decibel: A North West profile forms part of this continued positive action work and it is with great pleasure that we present to you this publication which is dedicated to promoting culturally diverse arts from the North West.


The book celebrates and profiles, for the first time, a selection of 40 of our flagship culturally diverse artists and arts organisations with whom we have had a relationship over the past three to five years, alongside those that are relatively new or emerging. All those featured are making a significant contribution to arts practice and provision regionally, nationally or internationally in the field of music, dance, theatre, the visual arts and literature.


One of the highlights of the decibel year was the 2003 decibel Performing Arts Showcase in association with x.trax, which took place in Manchester. The strategic aim of the event was to increase the amount of culturally diverse performance including theatre, dance, music, street arts, live art, puppetry and

other cross-arts with live content being programmed in a wide variety of national

and international venues. The North West was very well represented in the 2003 showcase, which bears testimony to the wealth of talent in our region, and some of the artists showcased are featured in this book.


A second x.trax/decibel showcase, building on the success of the one in 2003, will take place in Manchester from 31 May–3 June 2005.


The publication is a result of feedback from artists during the decibel year. Inside, the artists and arts organisations speak for themselves about the essence of their work and future aspirations. There is much work still to be done around cultural equity in the arts, and decibel has provided a catalyst for this. We hope this publication helps to move us one step further to realising our goals in the North West region.


While we have tried to include as many Arts Council England funded organizations and individuals as possible, this is not an exhaustive guide to the culturally diverse arts sector in our region. By bringing together those featured in one reference guide we aim to promote and raise awareness of the work of the artists and arts organisations and to make it easier for you to contact them. It is also our intention that the book provides invaluable insight into the wealth of diversity, creativity and expertise that lies within the North West.


We trust that you will find this publication a useful tool when you are looking for an artist or arts organisation for your programming and project-based work. And we hope that you too will develop professional relationships and shared experiences with the artists and arts organisations listed within this book.

We commend them to you.


Ngozi Ikoku

decibel Project Manager

Arts Council England, North West


*In the context of decibel, the term ‘culturally diverse’ means ethnic diversity resulting from post-war immigration, with an increased focus on artists of African, Caribbean and Asian origin in England. Asia refers to the continent from Turkey to Japan.


The artists


Benji Reid

Born 1966, Manchester

Solo dance artist, devisor and director


Artist’s statement:

‘I am a performance artist using the language of body popping, mime,

storytelling and live music, utilising modern day folklore (hip hop) to tell the stories of the human condition.


The essence of my work is to explore the two worlds of dance theatre and hip hop using the traditional methods of theatre and imbuing them with the lens of hip hop. Replacing the traditional roles of musical director with a DJ and scriptwriter with a MC/poet, with the aim of creating a modern language that no longer alienates working class people but becomes a reflection of their plight.’


Selected work:

Reid has performed and toured his work internationally.

13 Mics, codirected with Jonzi D, 2003

B Like Water, written by Lemn Sissay and codirected by Reid and John McGrath, 2003

The Pugilist, 2002

The Waiting Room, 2000

Aeroplane Man, written by Jonzi D and codirected by Reid, 1999

Paper Jackets, 1999


Contact details:

Agent: Lisa Eaton

Studio 11

Aire Street Workshops

30–34 Aire Street

Leeds LS1 4HT

Phone: +44 (0)113 243 6314

Email: lisa@benjireid.com

Website: www.benjireid.com


Clement Cooper

Born 1965, Manchester

Visual artist


Artist’s statement:

‘I’m certain of the profound truth. When you’re born, you almost know and feel everything. Incredible! The progression through life soon strips you of that innocence. So utterly sad. Anyway that’s what I’m all about as a man: getting back, through the medium of light, to that original state of being. Nothing more, nothing less.


Everything I am is light. Everything to my mind begins with light. I realised that fact from the age of three, standing in that kitchen in Longsight beneath the window, feeling and looking at the rays from the sun, just the certain things it spoke.’


Exhibitions:

Cooper has exhibited widely within the UK

and abroad. His photography exhibition Sisters, supported by Gallery Oldham, Manchester City Art Gallery, The British Council and Arts Council England, will

be shown at Gallery Oldham from 4 December 2004–31 January 2005,

and will then tour the UK.


Contacts details:

Clement Cooper

Email: clement869@aol.com

Agent: Autograph, the Association

of Black Photographers

74 Great Eastern Street

London EC2A 3JG

Phone: +44 (0)20 7739 8748

Website: www.autograph-abp.co.uk


Dinu Li

Born 1965, Hong Kong

Visual artist


Artist’s statement:

‘My interest in photography began at an early age while spending time with the arrangement of my family portraits. These I grouped and displayed on walls and between glass tables. My work often delves into my own history, culture and

identity. Originally trained as a photographer working for advertising and design agencies, I expanded my practice in 1998 by working as an artist. My views are expressed through the medium of photography, film, video and installations.


As an artist, my work is preoccupied by an observation of changes, brought about by the passage of time. I have adopted an ongoing strategy in addressing social agendas in a way that has a universal value, both on an emotional and intuitive level. As a diasporic artist, I am interested in the postcolonial interpretation of the ‘third space’ dealing with such issues as

homeland/guest land and native/foreigner.’


Exhibitions:

Li has exhibited his work in the UK, Europe and China. Showings include: Art Forum Berlin, White Space 798 Beijing, Shanghai Art Fair, Liverpool Biennial, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, and Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester.

His work is published in a selection of catalogues including As If I Were A River, CITE 2003, which accompanied an exhibition of the same name which showed at Bury Art Gallery and Museum from 26 July–20 September 2003 and at The Lowry, Salford from 2 August–26 October 2003.


Contact details:

Dinu Li

Phone: +44 (0)161 872 2048

Mobile: +44 (0)7976 270128

Email: info@dinuli.co.uk

Website: www.dinuli.co.uk


Donna Berry

Born 1966, Birmingham

Visual artist


Artist’s statement:

‘Practically, my approach to sculpture has continued to evolve; conceptually, its

concerns are expanding in area but the approach remains constant: the continued exploration into our ephemeral relationships, the subtle shifts in personal, social and global culture that we catch like shadows in the corner of our eyes, almost imperceptible but relatively rapidly changing.


My practice continues to test the water where the boundaries are blurred, eclectically teasing out the humour of the commonplace while blending more fanciful notions with an underlying discomfort. The issue base of my work leads

to a constant search for new materials and methods thus each new piece is a source of revelation and new awareness.’


Solo exhibitions include:

Carbon Dating, Liverpool Independent Biennial 2004, Boodle and Dunthorne,

18 September–29 October

Toast 2003, Building Design Partnership, Liverpool, 3–31 October 2003

Solo, Pushka restaurant, Liverpool, October 2002–January 2003


Contact details:

Donna Berry

Studio 12

36 Seel Street

Liverpool L1 4BE

Phone: +44 (0)151 708 8336

Mobile: +44 (0)7870 268315

Email: donna@donnaberry.com

Website: www.donnaberry.com


Halima Cassell

Born 1975, Pakistan

Sculptor


Artist’s statement:

‘I am an artist, designer and maker based in Manchester. I graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 2002 with a Masters degree in 3-dimensional design. My artistic practice incorporates the influence of both Islamic and African art, which enables me to develop contemporary ceramics based on architectural elements and forms.


With my style firmly established I now have plans to work on an increasingly larger scale and move more towards public art and architectural work.’


Exhibitions:

Cassell is currently working on a programme of national and international exhibitions. Solo shows to date include:

Architectural Ceramics, Portico Library and Gallery, Manchester, 5–28 May 2004 Exhibtion celebrating International Women’s Week, Blackburn Museum,

21 February–24 April 2004


Contact details:

Halima Cassell

39 Newchurch Close

Blackburn

Lancashire BB2 3DP

Phone: +44 (0)1254 583 764

Mobile: +44 (0)7817 053308

Email: info@halimacassell.co.uk


J Chuhan

Born 1955, Punjab, India

Painter and Professor of International Art at Liverpool John Moores University


Artist’s statement:

‘I am engaged in expressing ideas through the painterly language of colour and form, aiming at a visceral expression of the sensuality of the human figure and natural forms. My paintings portray my response to the appearance, personality and inner life of people who have posed for me as models, and explore ideas of intimacy and sexuality, strength and fragility.


My paintings focus on the individuality of people, as in my Parampara Portraits solo show initiated by Shisha. In Sanskrit ‘Parampara’ means tradition as it is passed between generations and my paintings show a non-stereotypical perception of 15 people from the South Asian diaspora, rarely reflected in western art exhibitions or collections, exemplified in portraits of people including writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and the politician Baroness Pola Uddin.’

Exhibitions:

Chuhan has exhibited her work internationally. Solo exhibitions include:

Journeys, Cartwright Hall, Bradford,

4 December 2004–6 February 2005

Parampara Portraits: paintings by J Chuhan,

Central Art Gallery, Tameside,

8 January–28 February 2004,

Watermans Arts Centre, London,

21 October–3 December 2004

A long way from home…a painter’s journey, The Lowry, Salford, 2002


Contact details:

J Chuhan

Liverpool School of Art and Design

Liverpool John Moores University

68 Hope Street

Liverpool L1 9EB

Email: j.chuhan@livjm.ac.uk


Juliet Ellis

Born 1969, Sheffield

Director, performer and live art practioner


Artist’s statement:

‘I am an artist. I make theatre, happenings and events. My work is characterised by its haunting yet beautiful atmospheres, creating images that are visually compelling, evocative and disturbing, juxtaposing strange harmonies, which leave a sublime residue creating a world beyond language that seduces the eye of the watcher.


My underlying personal exploration resides in continuing to make challenging

and provocative art, art that asks questions and fuels dreams, that searches for purity, truth and candour, and arouses a curiosity, questioning the nature of performance that crosses the borders between disciplines and examines our human existence.’


Selection of works:

Weeding Cane (by Sonia Hughes), designed and performed in, 2004

A Hurricane is Coming, 2003

Under My Skin, 2001

Hang Up, performed in and devised with Third Angel, 1999

Ellis is currently Artist in Residence at the Greenroom, Manchester, where she is developing Autobiography in 5 Chapters, which will launch in Autumn 2005.


Contact details:

Juliet Ellis

Greenroom

54–56 Whitworth Street West

Manchester M1 5WW

Phone: +44 (0)161 236 6980

Mobile: +44 (0)7958 512623

Email: julietellis@gothere.uk.com


Junko Mori

Born 1974, Yokohama, Japan

Metalwork artist


Artist’s statement:

‘My work consists of multiples of individually forged steel or other metals, and the subtle difference of each piece results from hand hammering. No piece is individually planned but becomes fully formed within the making and thinking process. Repeating little accidents, like a mutation of cells, the final accumulation of units emerges within this process of evolution. The uncontrollable beauty is the core of my concept.


I hope that my objects become highlights in a contemporary minimal space as catalysts of a new decorative art.’


Selected exhibitions:

SOFA, Navy Pier, Chicago, USA, 4–7 November 2004

H.A.T international jewellery exhibition: UK tour from November 2003, showing at Urban Splash, Timber Wharf, Manchester 14–29 October 2004; Australian tour from 2005

Chelsea Crafts Fair, Chelsea Town Hall, London, 12–17 October 2004

21st Century Art + Design Fair, Armony, New York, USA, 8–13 October 2004

Made in Britain, Contemporary Applied Arts, London, 30 July–11 September 2004

North+South, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool, 24 July–21 August 2004

Offshoot, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 3 June–25 July 2004


Contact details:

Junko Mori

Amp Studio

Lamb Court

142 Chapel Street

Salford M3 6AF

Mobile: +44 (0)7961 365259

Email: mail@junkomori.com


Kuljit Chuhan

Born 1960, Punjab, India

Video and digital media artist


Artist’s statement:

‘Like most people, I am always thrilled at being able to suddenly see the links between one observation or experience and another, rather like a detective realising the hidden link between two events or characters. Through my work around the dislocations of the globe and their causes, I try to combine aesthetic and technological means to make those links apparent and to find simple metaphors in which to frame them.’


Exhibitions:

Chuhan has a particular interest in migrant and Black art, activism, and grass roots production. His work has been screened, exhibited, and published internationally and includes:

Resonance, installation shown at ISEA (International Symposium on Electronic Art) Paris, 2000

From Punjab to Football, video for Manchester United Football Club, 2001

Boundless Sky, a touring 3-screen Asian dance installation, 2002

Terminal Frontiers, moving image installations for Virtual Migrants with Keith Piper, 2002


Contact details:

Kuljit Chuhan

Phone: +44 (0)161 865 4167

Fax: +44 (0)870 122 1916

Mobile: +44 (0)7971 415191

Email: kooj@kooj.net

Website: www.kooj.net


Kwong Lee

Born 1969, Hong Kong

Visual artist, projects organiser, and Director of Castlefield Gallery, Manchester


Artist’s statement:

‘I am a visual artist based in Manchester. I use my Chinese cultural background as a position to question the dogma of authenticity and to engage with affinity and difference. My art practice focuses on two main themes: issues surrounding immigration, and food as a medium for communication. I am interested in the first because people have always moved irrespective of borders and the latter because cultural specific food crosses boundaries easily.’


Selected exhibitions:

Artranspennine 03, 23 May–16 August 2003

Making it, Manchester City Art Gallery, 2002–2004

Travelogue, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, 22 June–22 September 2002

Big Screen in Little China, Leicester Square, London,

17 February–17 March 2002

Neo Metamorphosis, Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery,

14 April–13 May 2001

4 Person Show, Gallery Sudo, Tokyo, 12–26 December 2000


Contact details:

Kwong Lee

Phone: +44 (0)161 226 5513

Email: handscooking@yahoo.co.uk


Levi Tafari

Born 1960, Liverpool

Poet

Artist’s statement:

‘I see myself as an Urban Griot travelling life’s road documenting these times poetically. I want to continue to express myself artistically, to communicate with others in the hope of inspiring a new generation of performance poets, and to bring forth a message of unity.’


Poetry collections:

Tafari is an internationally renowned writer and performer who has worked across the UK, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean, America and the Far East. He has published three highly successful collections of poetry:

Duboetry, The Windows Project, (1987, 1988, 2001, 2002)

Liverpool Experience, Michael Schwinn (1989)

Rhyme Don’t Pay, Headland Publications (1993, 1999)

His fourth collection From the Page to the Stage is to be published in 2005.


Contact details:

Levi Tafari

16 Dombey Street

Liverpool L8 5TL

Phone: +44 (0)151 709 5585

Email: levi@tafari.freeserve.co.uk


Miso’shi

Born in Ghana

Storyteller


Artist’s statement:

‘I am an African artist in education. The essence of my work is using the art of storytelling to share experiences of diversity with my race – the human race.’


Published work:

Miso’shi has a long established arts in education career. Her work includes delivering storytelling programmes for performance featuring story, music, dance and art in schools and in the wider community, for example in prisons, hospitals, museums and galleries. Miso’shi’s publications include: Morning in Ghana, a dance pack published in the 1990s by Primrose Publications, Monkey and Shark, a storytelling project video and notes pack for schools, Suspended Animation 1999, and Feel the Rhythm, a body sounds pack, Miso’shi 2000.


Contact details:

Miso’shi Efua Fiadogbe-Procter

85 The Farthings

Astley Village

Chorley

Lancashire PR7 1SH

Phone: +44 (0)1257 278 745

Email: misoshi@aol.com

Website: http://members.aol.com/misoshi


Nina Edge

Born 1962, Bournemouth

Visual artist


Artist’s statement:

‘The information rich culture in which my work is produced appears to have reduced what can be known of the world via its centrally organised communications systems. As an artist I am driven to see the communication cat amongst the pigeons. I make observations and transmit them visually, creating discourse amongst silence.


The work I produce is designed to be understood by broad audiences. Thus it exploits factory production, commonly found objects, performance or hand crafted elements as appropriate to the ideas in question. This might involve a narrative approach or a visual treat. By exploiting the existing status of objects or ‘truths’ the viewer finds an easy route to interrogate existing bodies of information.’


Selected work:

Edge has exhibited her work internationally. In the 1980s she showed alongside Mona Hatoum, Lubaina Himid and Zarina Bhimji in the seminal race and gender survey exhibitions. She has worked extensively in education and with Tate Liverpool, and has recently produced an acoustic guide programme for their exhibition The Secret History of Clay: From Gauguin to Gormley,

28 May–30 August 2004.

Edge is currently working with camouflage, producing a series of large maps and outerwear.


Contact details:

Nina Edge

40 Kelvin Grove

Liverpool L8 3UE

Phone: +44 (0)151 726 0348

Mobile: +44 (0)7971 472707

Email: edge@nedge.u-net.com


Segun

Born 1967, Leeds

Singer, poet, producer/composer, playwright, film-maker and club promoter


Artist’s statement:

‘I transcend division by any means necessary. I am a tool of God. Lock all your doors! The essence is love and confusion and oranges on a step. My quest is to find out who the hell I am (or was when I started looking).’


Current work:

In July 2003 Segun was appointed as North West Regional Coordinator for

Apples and Snakes, the UK’s long established poetry organisation, where he continues to develop spoken word activity across the North West region.

He is also currently writing commissions for the BBC Radio 4 project Text to TX, and the Eclipse Theatre Laboratory project, and producing Nyam Nyam, an album of Nigerian hip hop and rhythm and blues.


Contact details:

Segun Lee-French

Greenroom

54–56 Whitworth Street West

Manchester M1 5WW

Phone (home): +44 (0)161 232 8380

Phone (work): +44 (0)161 615 0528

Fax: +44 (0)161 615 0516

Email: segungun@yahoo.com

Website: www.darkjazz.net/segun


Shamshad Khan

Born 1964, Leeds

Poet

Artist’s statement:

‘I am a poet performing with silence, music and new technologies.

The essence of my work is to use words to move myself and the audience from where we are to somewhere else.’


A selection of performances/readings:

Megalomaniac, Greenroom, Manchester, October 2004 and touring UK during November 2004

Hard Cut, a poetic monologue, 2003

Bones, international conference of women live performers, Berne,

Switzerland, 2003

Asia on the Road, tour of Denmark, 2003


Published works:

The Woman and the Chair, a short story, Virago 1994. Poetry in anthologies include: Poetry of Rebellion, Manchester Festival 1997, The Firepeople, Payback Press 1998, Bittersweet, Women’s Press 1998, Healing Strategies for Women at War, Crocus Books 1999, Longman’s GCSE Poems for your Pocket, 1999, anthology of British South Asian poets, Redbeck Press 2000, Velocity, Black Spring Press 2003


Contact details:

Shamshad Khan

Mobile: +44 (0)7786 816173

Email: shamshad@khan2k.freeserve.co.uk


Sonia Hughes

Born 1965, Luton

Writer


Artist’s statement:

‘I work primarily as a writer but also perform and create visual environments

for my work. I love working collaboratively with other artists and participants.

I am always interested in themes, which involve complexity and love. I’ve got a lot to learn.


My work is sensuous, rich and flawed. My aspirations are to produce much more of my own work. My ultimate commission is to work with a group of artists and participants over a long period of time to create a piece of work which has to be beautiful, scary and honest.’


A selection of plays and performances:

A Son Like Mine, BBC Radio 4, August 2004, Weeding Cane, directed by Wyllie Longmore, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, May 2004,

Life in the Hinterland, directed by Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Contact Theatre, Manchester, April 2004, Reverberations, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool,

October 2003


Contact details:

Sonia Hughes

Phone: +44 (0)161 256 1234

Email: soniahughes65@hotmail.com


SuAndi

Born 1951, Manchester

Performance poet and Cultural Director of Black Arts Alliance


Artist’s statement:

‘I like to call myself a poet because the word has such hidden depth. Being a poet has allowed me to be a novelist, playwright, live artist; even write opera. I can use poetry when I am speaking at conferences. I can share words ideas with young people from knee high to grey toppers. I love that it has such a strong link to my ancestry, the African oral tradition, and fits so neatly on the page right here in 21st century Manchester. Why on earth would I want to be anything different when I can be what I am, a poet and a

SUSSEDBLACKWOMANCELEBRATINGLIFE?’


Performances:

SuAndi has been a performance poet since 1985, and in the 1990s she turned some of her attention to the live art stage. She tours nationally and internationally, and her last ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) commission The Story of M, 1995, received critical acclaim in the UK and North America. In recent years SuAndi has made annual trips to the United States where she takes to the stage, hosts workshops and is a popular international guest speaker at conferences. She marked the new millennium with her first libretto based on the life of Mary Seacole and staged at Covent Garden, London.


Contact details:

SuAndi

369 Barlow Moor Road

Chorlton

Manchester M21 7FZ

Phone: +44 (0)161 283 1661

Fax: +44 (0)161 283 3427

Mobile: +44 (0)7788 817978

Email: suandi@blackartists.org.uk

Website: www.blackartists.org.uk//suandi


Suki Chan

Born 1977, Hong Kong

Visual artist


Artist’s statement:

‘As an artist working with rice, I am interested in the notion of migration and displacement. I use rice as a symbol of our aspiration for a better life. Via installation, moving images and sound, I explore ways to evoke a sense of movement (attraction/repulsion) that appears to be omnipresent, perpetual but silent.


The essence of my work is about narrating the passing of time. With speed and slowness, we access a plethora of differing realities and spaces. How does

this accumulation of experiences affect our notion of individual identity and sense of belonging? As well as continuing to develop my practice, my aspirations are to establish links with artist-led initiatives around the world, exploring the role of an artist as a curator and instigator.’


Exhibitions:

Chan has exhibited her work internationally. Solo exhibitions include:

Shadows, Old Seager Distillery, Deptford X, London, 2004, The Story of Rice, Upriver Loft, Kunming, China, 2003,

Shadow Songs, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool Biennial 2002


Contact details:

Suki Chan

Mobile: +44 (0)7818 044238

Email: info@sukichan.co.uk

Website: www.sukichan.co.uk


Sundar Kanta Walker

Born 1944, East Punjab, India

Painter and writer


Artist’s statement:

‘My Indian and Scottish connections and Buddhist beliefs are central to all my artwork, and continue to provide me with new visions and perspectives. In my paintings, I try to infuse the spirit in light and colour in a meditative style and bring out the spiritual archetypal energies that are the basis of all great religions. I use colours in all their purity in bold brush strokes to reach the ephemeral beauty and fragility of the planet I inhabit.


My hope is that I would stay healthy, happy and solvent to continue to expand and enrich my earlier works and continue to excel in my art. I would also like to be seen as making a significant contribution to the international art scene in the 21st century.’


Exhibitions:

Walker has exhibited her work internationally. Selected exhibitions include:

Green Door Open Studios, Kendal, July 2004

2D, Brixton Art Gallery, London, 16 January–17 February 2004

Annual Grasmere exhibition, 4–18 October 2003

Sundar Rang, MP Birla Art Gallery, London, 19 August–2 September 2003

Enduring Earth, Jubilee Hills Centre, Hyderabad, India,

28 November 1999–2 January 2000

Sanjherang, Alhamra Art Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan, 1–31 December 1989, toured in UK in 1990


Contact details:

Sundar Kanta Walker

The Studio

7 Morecombe Bank

Grange Over Sands

Cumbria LA11 6DX

Phone/fax: +44 (0)1539 532 224

Email: kantawalker@hotmail.com

Website: www.artsk.org.uk

The Singh Twins

Amrit and Rabindra KD Kaur Singh

Born 1966, London

Visual artists


Artists’ statement:

‘We define ourselves as British contemporary artists working in a Past Modern style [as opposed to Post Modern] that combines elements of western and eastern aesthetics and asserts the value of traditional and non-European artforms to the continuing development of Modern Art. It’s a definition that not only asserts the right of all artists to define their own cultural and artistic individuality in a way that is meaningful and true to who they are, but redresses the need to reevaluate established cultural definitions, values and role models

within the wider context of an evolving global society dominated by western consumer markets and popular culture.


Our art and established practice of working and exhibiting together (as well as dressing identically) is a political statement against the hypocrisy of an establishment which advocates self expression as the be-all and end-all of Modern Art, yet denies the validity of anything which does not comply with the expectations dictated by a selective, Eurocentric perspective. But ultimately, our artistic strategy is defined by a sense of responsibility to look beyond personal issues of identity towards exposing wider cultural prejudices and highlighting other concerns of more global significance. One aspiration for the future therefore is for an art establishment and society which one day will truly transcend cultural barriers in the criteria and methods it adopts for promoting, recording and evaluating cultural and artistic work and achievement.’


The Singh Twins are internationally renowned artists, and their award winning paintings have been acknowledged for initiating a new movement in the revival of the Indian miniature tradition within contemporary art practice.

Their work is featured in two books: Twin Perspectives, Twin Studio 1999 and Past Modern, Southampton Institute 2002.


Selected exhibitions:

Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab, five-year loan of three works to Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, USA, from July 2004

Past Modern: paintings by The Singh Twins, an international touring exhibition to Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Mumbai in India, 15 November 2002–31 May 2003; California, USA, 2 September–6 December 2003; Toronto,

Canada 11 January–29 February 2004

EnTWINed, UK touring exhibition from March 1999–April 2000


Contact details:

The Singh Twins

Email: twinstudio@hotmail.com

Website: www.singhtwins.co.uk

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