Sharps and Such
Sunaina Bhalla, curated by Louis Ho
31 Oct – 9 Nov 2020
'Sharps and Such' is an exhibition about bodily trauma. The first solo presentation in
Singapore by Sunaina Bhalla, who has been resident here for almost two decades, it reflects
the twinned driving forces of the artist’s life: her creative engagement with embroidery and
fabric, a symptom of her early training as a textile designer, and her personal struggle with
breast cancer, which she was diagnosed with in 2015. As a performance, Bhalla will be
working on-site for a limited number of hours daily, for the duration of the show.
Curated by Louis Ho
About the Artist(s)
Sunaina is a contemporary artist of Indian origin, who lives and works in Singapore. Educated in India, she moved to Tokyo in the late 90’s and has spent the last two decades in various parts of North and South Asia. Having completed her formal education as a textile designer specializing in print, she chose to pursue an immersive education in the traditional art form of Nihonga in Japan, where she spent 5 years studying under Suiko Ohta-sensei of the Kyoshin-Do school. She completed her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Goldsmiths University, London where her thesis topic was ‘The Body and the Ritual of Pain’
Her work revolves around the repetitive and ritualistic nature of gestures and their traces. She explores the transformative effects of the deliberate infliction of pain on the human body during the curative process of alleviating disease and decay. By using industrial materials analogous to the fragile nature of the body, juxtaposed with fabric and embroidery, she examines the passage of time and the mark making that documents this process. Sunaina is currently researching traditional healing practices in Singapore and South East Asia with a focus on Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine that employ natural remedies like herbs in chronic health conditions like Diabetes and Breast Cancer.
Concurrently, she is also rediscovering her interest in printing processes as a contemporary visual language. She runs wood block printing workshops in Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, America and Australia and is working with schools to introduce this process into curriculums in Singapore.
Sunaina has exhibited in Japan, India, Singapore, Europe and the Middle East. Her works are in the permanent collections of the ESSL Museum, Vienna and Mumbai Airports Authority, India, and in various private collections globally. She has also had her works successfully auctioned at the Mainichi Auction in Japan.