Artist India

Rekha Rodwittiya

2004 Residence Program

Born in 1958. After graduating in painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda in India, obtained her Master's Degree in painting at the Royal College of Art, London.

[Residence Program] May 11, 2004〜Aug 9, 2004

Exchange Activities

At the Museum's public Sculpture Lounge, Rekha created a six-part artwork that interwove Indian and Japanese forms of visual expression. After the work was completed she held three consecutive art lectures, discussing movements in contemporary and modern Indian art. Rekha also devoted her time to holding a workshop for children at the Tagawa Museum of Art and visiting art galleries throughout Japan.

Activity Schedule

May 11
Arrived in Fukuoka.
May 12
Held discussion about her residential work. As originally planned, decided to paint a six-part series.
May 13
Attended opening reception for "Contemporary Taiwanese Art - The New Identity Part 5" at Mitsubishi Jisho Artium.
May 15
Explained course of her activities during residency to the volunteer staff.
May 19
Began work on her piece at the Sculpture Lounge. Painted a different-colored base coat on six separate canvases.
May 20
Interviewed by students at the Department of Art and Information Design as part of a lecture by Professor Ishikawa Koji, at the Faculty of Design, Kyushu University.
June 3
Interviewed by art theory students as part of a lecture by Professor Ushiroshoji Masahiro, at the Faculty of Humanities, Kyushu University.
June 7
Appeared as guest on TV information show "Joho Wide Fukuoka Ichiban boshi", NHK (Japan Broadcast Corporation) Fukuoka.
June 12-13
Traveled to Tokyo. Attended symposium. "Modernism in Asia" at Mori Art Museum and visited the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo among others.
June 23
Completed her six-piece art work.
June 27-29
Traveled to Kyoto..
July 1
Visited Art Space Chiyofuku, Kyosei no Sato and Ishibashi Museum of Art, all located in Fukuoka Prefecture.
July 7
Participated in lecture by Professor Ushiroshoji, speaking on the Indian economy, politics and culture and their roles in gender politics. Installed her six-piece art work at the Sculpture Lounge of the Museum.
July 11
Held first session of the lecture series "A Journey through Indian Art - Modernism to Post Modernism" at AJIBI Hall.
July 14-16
Traveled to Hiroshima to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum and others.
July 18
Held second session of her lecture series.
July 22
Held the workshop "Myself and the Others" for nine elementary school children at the Tagawa Museum of Art.
July 25
Held third session of her lecture series.
August 7-17
"Winds of Artist in Residence 2004 Part 1" exhibition is held. Artist talks took place in front of the work, attended by many visitors who saw the work being made or helped in their production.
August 9
Rekha returned to India.

Artist's Statement

A chanced meeting between Nukata no Okimi and a serendipitous yayavar

Painting is always difficult to talk about because visual language is never a direct translation of the specific. It almost always encompasses the nuance of ideas, much in the same manner that poetry does.
As a traveler my curiosities lie in looking at subtle areas of the unfamiliar and to search within those spaces for links and common factors that allow me to identify with my new situation.
Japan for me was an unknown country only in that I have never physically visited it. But I had traveled in my minds eye through the films, literature, art and culture of this beautiful country for many years. So on some ways coming to Fukuoka on the invitation of FAAM was like an opportunity to reacquaint oneself with a distant lover, familiar but far away from ones everyday reality.
The chief curator is known to me from several years, and I believe we share many common ideas and passions related to enquires of Asian contemporary art. So when he suggested the idea to work on site to execute this painting. I accepted to do so, because I too felt it would make the process of this painting more real for an audience by exposing the daily conflicts of an artist in dialogue with their ongoing work.
The decision to make a 6 part painting was done because it allowed me to explore the framework of narration in a manner that did not seek story telling as its module. It provided instead for a poetic device of metaphors that create meaning with conjunctive associations as the visual exist in each others proximity.
The thematic platform was to weave inflections from Japanese and Indian visual language through images that indicated my observation of both these cultural contexts. Fukuoka therefore became the "laboratory" of sorts from where 1 observed the Japanese culture, life and politics of this country.
The title "A chanced meeting between Nukata no Okimi and a serendipitous yayavar reveals the intentions of this visual travelogue. An imaginary meeting with a past legendary Japanese poetess of the 7th century by a wandering Indian traveler suggests the idea of past history and the present being the filter of perception. As a contemporary Asian artist coming from a country seeped in cultural heritage, history and its diversity is an ancestry that I am comfortable with and which continuously seduces me into its chambers of treasures, to re examine and re-question, and thereby to understand a contemporary context.

Rekha Rodwittiya