Poonam Jain, Chanting, 2016, books, Variable dimensions
Courtesy of 1×1 Gallery
Poonam Jain (1989) investigates spaces and cities she comes to inhabit using delicate intricate formats to comment on issues that concern a young woman in a city; personal narratives discuss art history and socio-political concerns. Works by her take on a numerical vocabulary that manifests itself in delicate architectural forms that at times are made from cotton ear buds. Metaphors and synonyms are mathematically dissected to form sentences that reflect an innate need to express a feminist urge. Intricate drawings that derive influence from jewellery settings provide surrealist relief to her, much like Joseph Beuy’s action drawings in the same way Chorheh Feyzdjou’s poster for her shop in Paris turns into dust-brush for Jain statues that intends to eliminate misogyny well embedded in religion.
Once as a young girl she had taken vows to be nun in the numerically small Jain religion from India but she was rather convinced by the draw of art. Here she essentially investigates the inherent atheism in Jain philosophy by counting until infinity – in an exercise book where she purposely writes every consecutive number aiming to reach the utopian infinity. She transports her fathers stationary shop into a portable note book by using images from its graphics as the books borders. Architectural critique exists as an intimate relationship she shares with neighbours and the inherit lack of privacy in a crowded unplanned city. Jain proposes a feminism that doesn’t necessarily depend on an animosity with the feminine. She proposes an intellectual argument that is precise and mathematical in its opposition to the arrived understanding.
Poonam Jain is based in Bombay. She has shown at the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, G.159 Bangalore, Insert 2014 curated by Raqs Media Collective, New Delhi, Chemould Prescott, Mumbai, Fondation Lucien Paye, Paris, MKG127, Canada, New Gallery, Paris, Irish Museum of Mordern Art, Gdansk Art Gallery and Beirut Exhibition Center, among others. She has had solos at the Clark House Bombay, 1×1 Gallery Dubai and C&H Art Apartment Hong Kong in 2014.
1×1 Art Gallery was founded by Malini Gulrajani in 1996 as a platform for established and emerging Indian Modern and Contemporary artists. 1×1 supports its program through structured collaborations with local and international galleries, art fairs, museums, independent curators and art organizations. More recently, 1×1’s exhibitions have witnessed an active inclusion of Emirati and Middle East based artists, embracing an idea of joint projects and initiatives with a predominantly cultural orientation.
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