Cultures travel, as people do – through ideology, language and image – moving across countries and histories while supporting the immense labour of their interpretive potential. In the non-equilibrium states of our cultural world, any steadiness we might draw as understanding emerges through an identification of patterns, by observing the momentum of ideas and how people are changing in and of their worlds. Once gleaned as essential stories, patterns reveal the ongoing flux that is the tepid foundation of an ever-responsive contemporary world, and more importantly the shifting scales of influence that are put in motion by momentous waves of change. We might consider how intellectual and emotional mythologies from the East are gaining a measured but urgent spread into popular canon, even as Western feedback re-filters into local cultures through changing modes of expression, image and transmission. Unprecedented levels of exposure have turned the ‘in-progress’ notion of the contemporary on its axis, as dialogue runs often wide and sometimes deep, bringing with it negotiations that are leveraged by powerful declarations and insistences of existence, authenticity and ingenuity.
Migrations features work by notable South Asian contemporary artists, including Anju Dodiya, Atul Dodiya, Jagannath Panda, K.M. Madhusudhanan, Faiza Butt, N.S Harsha, Praneet Soi, Ranbir Kaleka, Sachin George Sebastian and Shailesh B.R., who bring us a special set of works that explore patterns as tropes for a changing landscape of culture, particularly in a modern Subcontinent, where remnants of tradition are nurtured in thought and action as much as a want of progress in the future. Entering into conversation with both Eastern and Western canons, these works mark disclosures of self-informed identity, of worlds colliding in individual loci.