Priya Kambli: Color Falls Down
I’ve been a long time fan of the work of Priya Kambli. Her unique constructions examine identity, memory, relationships, objects, and place, each piece combining personal elements to layer new memories onto the old. Priya’s work is drawing a lot of attention in the upcoming month, with a variety of exhibitions and lectures on the horizon. On October 6 and running through November 27th, 2016, the Griffin Museum of Photography opens a new exhibition, Zindagi, a celebration of daily life in India and its legacy. The exhibit will feature solo exhibits and 3 videos by five photographers: Manjari Sharma, Dan Eckstein, Quintavius Oliver, Raj Mayukh Dam and Priya Kambli. She will also have work in a 2-person exhibition at Filter Space (with Mel Keiser) in Chicago, opening December, 2nd, and will have work again at the Griffin Museum, in the exhibition, Kitchen Gods, opening in January, 2017.
Her upcoming Artist Lectures will be on November 10th as the Hixson-Lied Visiting Artist, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, and on November 16th and at the Art Forum Visiting Artist Lecture Series, at Emporia State University, Kansas. She will also be presenting her series, Kitchen Gods, at the 2017 SPE National Conference: Family Values, Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 11:00am, Orlando IV “Kitchen Gods”.
Priya Kambli was born in India. She moved to the United States at age 18 carrying her entire life in one suitcase. She began her artistic career in the States and her work has always been informed by this experience as a migrant.
She completed her BFA degree in Graphic Design from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and continued on to receive a MFA degree in Photography from the University of Houston. She is currently Professor of Art at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. In 2008 PhotoLucida awarded her a book publication prize for her project Color Falls Down, which was published in 2010.
My artwork is intrinsically tied to my own family’s photographic legacy. At age 18, I moved from India to the United States, a couple of years after my parents passed away. Before I emigrated my sister and I split our photographic inheritance arbitrarily and irreparably in half – one part to remain in India with her and the other to be displaced along with me, here in America. For the past decade my archive of family photographs has been one of my main source materials in creating bodies of work, which explore the genre of personal narrative.
Color Falls Down
Color Falls Down is a conversation with my ancestors and also an effort to reconcile the cultural dualities that have helped form my hybrid identity. This conversation began with the domestic objects and family photographs that I carried with me in my suitcase and which have been my companions ever since. I re-contextualize and alter my family snapshots and personal artifacts to reveal the correlations between generations, cultures and memory. My self-portrait is the constant that links my past with my present. In this work I am neither Indian nor American, but the link that chains generations together.
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