Parekh, Saloni Prakash
Saloni Prakash Parekh
Parekh moved to the US in 2017 to pursue a BFA degree in painting from Kent State University, Ohio. She has shown work in several group shows and states across USA , with recent exhibitions at Tennessee Valley Arts Museum, Fava gallery in Oberlin-Ohio and Emergent exhibition, Cleveland. Her work ‘Ten degrees of Wikipedia’ is now a part of the permanent collection for University Library, Kent, Ohio.
I explore Hindu traditions as a form of art, imagination, and philosophy. The image of god and symbolism is central to Hinduism. I reimagine god and dissolve god in the paintings. Alongside reinterpreting imagery of god, my work holds the complexities of symbolism and iconography of Hindu religion. My work is imbued by reinterpretation and epistemology through intersection of technology, art, science, mysticism, and religion as a human practice. The mediums I use are painting, drawing, video, and digital sculpting. The virtue of a ritual sometimes gets forgotten, resulting in superstitions, blind faith, and nationalism. The rise of nationalists in India inspires me to reimagine and recreate the understanding of the religion. Religiously, black is not a favorable color, but it is substantial to my work. Black is used for both flat backdrops and foreground figures that are engulfed in what appears to be an endless void below, above, behind, and everywhere. I give a new face to Hindu traditions and texts, mainly focusing on the various stories of creation of the macrocosm. I anticipate performance and interaction of the viewers with and around my work. I rely on the viewer to activate the objects I create.
Many online virtual worlds use the term “avatars,” which refers to people’s virtual representations. Avatar is the Sanskrit word that originally referred to the incarnation of a Hindu gods. While avatar historically referred to incarnation and I understand it as a movement from virtual to actual in the physical world but in the online worlds it connotes the translation of actual into virtual world. Digital space is a metaphor for decarnation or virtualization.
My work is a mode of wonder, little bit admiration, little bit skepticism, a little play of faith and intellect and a mode for religious reformation.