Hema Upadhyay’s work speaks strongly of the metropolis of Mumbai – the issues such as migrations, dislocation, multi-cultural aspects of the city are very much part of her work. Her recent work conjures up an image of a world that exists literally below the surface, is mysterious, invisible and carries intimations about secrets and lies, about romance and violence. Hema brings forth her own artistic resolutions by repositioning the self-portrait in a larger social, cultural milieu. Hema’s works in gouache, acrylic, graphite and photographs on paper continue her creative engagement with the hopes and exigencies of urban living.
Her recent work comments that the apologies and apologetic explanation given to serious tragedies and violence throughout history and politics cover up the most essential issues, just like a daily greeting would ignore the serious problems between people.
"I like to tell any stories, whether real or imaginative. These are even reflections of one's phobias, shortcomings. The recurring theme in my work is autobiographical. In addition, it is the cathartic factor that becomes the reason to take these objects and convert their ability. Yes…my work is cathartic in process," she explains.
Hema Upadhyay completed her M.F.A. (Printmaking) from Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda in 1997 and B.F.A. (Painting) from Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda in 1995. She lives and works in Mumbai.