Hew Locke and Tim Barringer (Paul Mellon Professor in the History of Art, Yale University) will be in conversation in “East Indian, West Indian,” an on-line keynote discussion chaired by Hammad Nasar, to be held at 1:00pm GMT, Friday, June 4, 2021. The panel is part of the conference “London, Asia, Art, Worlds: Circulation and Encounter” at the Paul Mellon Centre.
London, Asia, Art, Worlds posits London as a key site in the construction of art historical narratives in Asia, and reflects on the ways in which the growing field of modern and contemporary art history in Asia intersects with and challenges existing histories of British art. By excavating historical entanglements and relational comparisons that link London and Asia, the conference questions the boundaries of national and regional histories.
“Growing-up in multicultural, non-aligned Guyana (formerly British Guiana) meant dealing daily with the cultural, political and religious complexities of a post-colonial society. Here the largest ethnic grouping consists of Indo-Guyanese descendants of indentured servants, followed by Afro-Guyanese. I grew up in a world of Flying Pigeon bikes from China and Tata school buses from India. I saw the Chinese State Circus and Opera. In the cinema, Bruce Lee, Clint Eastwood, Mera Naam Joker and Haath Mere Saathi were hits – Amitabh Bachcan came to visit. Everybody celebrated every national holiday; Christmas, Paghwah and Eid. This is the soup out of which my practice has emerged, and my presentation will look at how these influences have impacted on my work. Since I arrived in London aged twenty, it’s the international nature of this city, with its many ‘nations’, and its grouping of world-museums, that has been essential to my practice. London has been the place to process and understand the many aspects of my identity.” – Hew Locke
[Images above © Hew Locke, 1992. Pencil on paper 45 x 57cms. Old Hindu Temple, Golden Grove and Mosque, West Bank, Demerara.]