Vinita Mungi - Artist & Sculptor

 The role of gender and female identity in India has always fascinated me and sometimes, enraged me. My work deals with themes related to gender, identity, cultural history, and contextual significance in the Indian social demographic.

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Gaining an education in Fine Arts from an Art School in America forced me to introspect and consider my role in the global spectrum of feminism and female artists and where I would wish to see myself. Upon further reflection, I was confronted by the fact that most of my education comes from a heavily western perspective and my self-identity, therefore, relies on those misguided notions. I then shifted my interest and research into Indian female artists, activists, poets, etc belonging to the Post-colonial feminist movement.

I believe that the ideological construction of gender in India is male dominant. Through the use of symbolic representation of the human form/genitalia, I address these problematic issues. I depict these symbols by abstracting them and also by intricately weaving them into believable, natural, or architectural environments. Through my pieces, I wish to create a utopian world where one’s chosen/existing gendered, sexual identifiers are as commonly present as plants, flowers, or buildings. My work tends to be either large and ambiguous or minute and delicate within manufactured, manicured worlds. The larger works have phallic forms while their surfaces are bright, colorful, and celebratory alluding to the male-centric construct of sexuality in India. This is also intentionally a means of normalizing and liberating sexualized imagery. I wish to create awareness and a sense of responsibility among my viewers through my work. I would not like the viewers to feel confronted or triggered with an unsavory experience. The aesthetic value of my work is therefore definitely somewhat beautiful and requires the audience to look further than what it presents itself to be.

I prefer working multi-disciplinarily, however, I have always been drawn to clay and its ability to enhance the artist’s hand. The indentations and memories of construction left behind are solely unique to working with clay. Due to its flexible nature, clay can be used to create something specific and detailed but at the same time can also be used to make something abstract and quick. I like to implement both these techniques as I use clay to create quick 3-D maquettes to then transform them into larger finished works. What I find the most exciting and challenging is the fundamental element of ceramics is the uncertainty of the outcome during the firing process. Even though clay has a historical association with craft I choose to use it as a medium to create work that speaks about more than just its materiality. I also rely on portraiture as a technique to further my interest in marginalized sections of society by placing them in empowered positions.

Through my work, I wish to be able to translate my ideas about what it is like to be an Indian contemporary artist who is trying to talk about taboo topics such as self-identity, gender in society and sexual markers in the old and new India I live/create in.

Education 

2013 - 2017

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) | Chicago ,IL

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Sculpture

Professional Experience

2017 - 2018

Art Consultant | Source Unlimited, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Worked on developing relationships with international art galleries and helped clients in India acquire works of art from around the world. 

Career Objective

Proven to have knowledge of business development within the field of arts, I am an adaptable artist with 9 months of experience as an Art Consultant. I have also been working as an aspiring artist to develop my own body of work.