Jaishri Abichandani

#METOO at the Met Breuer

Sunday Decemsber 3rd, 2017 4-5 pm
Along with the South Asian Women's Creative Collective

A combined approach to Studio and Social Practice leads me to create ephemeral and material works. My practice straddles creating objects, actions, writing, curating exhibitions, and collective production- including founding and directing the South Asian Women's Creative Collective www.sawcc.org from 1997 - 2013, with chapters in New York City and London.

My studio practice is rooted in a process of constant discovery. Returning to the female body as the site of conflict and power, I am informed by feminist art history. Positions of power and themes of nationhood are critiqued, complexities and ambiguities are left unresolved while the formal approach prioritizes crafty and conceptual feminist treatments. Often referencing aesthetic theory and tropes from South Asia, I centralize female desire and agency within my work.

Recent Projects

Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions
Asia Society Museum June 27 - Aug 6 2017
Curated by Boon Hui Tan, Lawrence- Minh Bui Davis, Jaishri Abichandani

Fatal Love: Where are We Now?
Queens Museum June 30, July 1 and 2 2017
A national symposium of South Asian artists, academics and curators.
Organized by Jaishri Abichandani
Sponsored by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Recent Press


1.The New Yorker wrote -

"This thoroughly enjoyable group show brings together work by nineteen artists of South Asian origin,This thoroughly enjoyable group show brings together work by nineteen artists of South Asian origin, all now based, at least part time, in the United States. Themes of identity and dislocation crop up, notably in Jaret Vadera’s “Emperor of No Country,” a sumptuous blue robe printed with a map whose place names have been redacted, and in Tenzin Tsetan Choklay’s moving documentary film “Bringing Tibet Home,” which follows the artist Tenzing Rigdol as he smuggles thirty-five thousand pounds of Tibetan soil into the refugee community of Dharamsala, India, for a three-day-long installation. But the show’s politics never crowd out aesthetics. Other high points include a beautiful series of minimal woodcuts with Urdu text by Zarina and a whip-smart and languorous eight-foot-tall painting by Mequitta Ahuja, a self-portrait of the artist as her own muse."


2. Priya Khanchandani writes for Open Magazine
"The strength of the exhibition is the subtlety with which it conveys themes like identity and dislocation that could otherwise have been read as clichés of the immigrant experience, as well as its willingness to stretch the boundaries of the notion of diaspora, invoke humour, and, above all, ensure that for the most part, its politics does not override the quality of artistic output. It is refreshing that the conversation about the South Asian diaspora has evolved from the stereotypically nostalgic images of a bougainvillea-clad past and to see some diaspora artists working with issues other than their own biographies."

3. Tausif Noor writes for Art Asia Pacific http://artasiapacific.com/Blog/FatalLoveWhereAreWeNow

"At the Asia Society, an exhibition curated by Abichandani, “Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora,” examined issues of race, nationhood, gender and sexuality as experienced by and interpreted through artists of the South Asian diaspora.The three-day symposium, beginning with a panel at the Asia Society and continuing at the Queens Museum, engaged with one of the most compelling questions of the past century—that of the universal versus the particular. The symposium investigated challenges and themes that are particular to the South Asian diaspora in America, and proposed strategies for resolving these challenges so as to promote anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-elitist political goals that trumpet universal justice."

4. Sudeepa Singh writes for the Odessey Online
"Overwhelmingly, the exhibit combats the xenophobia and nationalism that flood our nation. The artists widen the narrative surrounding immigrants and attempt to rid viewers of their existing stereotypes, providing detailed individual stories and trials. They reveal how little anyone, (and even I, a child of South Asian descent), knows about history; people of color have been so severely overlooked.

Coincidentally, the exhibit meets with the seventieth anniversary of Indian independence from British rule. The art displayed celebrates the genuine expression of South Asian lives, in all of their duality.
For immigrants, the children of them, and anyone of South Asian descent, this exhibit is no less than a love letter to you."


5. JULIAN A. JIMAREZ HOWARD reviews Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions in White Hot Magazine.

"Borders, border crossing, and the complex web of power connections between them figure heavily into this exhibition."

6. Bansie Vasvani writes New York's Long Overdue Homage to South Asian Art in the Diaspora https://www.cobosocial.com/dossiers/asia-society-pays-homage-to-south-asian-art/

" in Jaishri Abichandani’s wall hanging We Were Making History, 3(2013), created with leather whips, the shapes of abstracted protesters inspired by images of Arab Spring in Tahir Square, Cairo, seem like a rallying cry for women and her own South Asian community to be made more visible."

7. TheInternational Examiner http://www.iexaminer.org/2017/07/south-asian-art-exhibit-shows-a-diaspora-of-dreams-and-visions/

“A grand exhibition has now graced us in a time where politics, identity, and xenophobia seem to be all we, as humans, think about on a regular, daily basis. Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora—currently on view at the Asia Society (http://asiasociety.org/new-york) in New York City—goes further to define and elaborate meaning to these issues and to most importantly, how the effect is manifesting itself for South Asians and their communities in the United States and beyond.

8.Karen Pennar writes for Voices of NY (https://voicesofny.org/2017/06/lucid-dreams-art-of-the-south-asian-diaspora-in-nyc/)

"The Indian-born artist Jaishri Abichandani, founder of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, felt an urgent need: that the diasporic artists of South Asia, many of whom work in New York as well as other locales, receive the recognition and the visibility, collectively, that they deserve. Only 0.2 percent of represented artists in NYC are South Asian artists, noted Abichandani. If some of them are stars, she says, this has happened “in spite of the circumstances, not because there are support structures.” When shows of South Asian artists happen, the artists of the diaspora are often excluded, she noted, while they are not considered “American enough” for shows of American artists. As a community of artists, she said “we fall into a space of invisibility.”

“Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora,” on view at the Asia Society through Aug. 6, aims to change all that, and start a conversation about the need for ongoing representation of the work of this community."

9. Hyperallergic ran two articles - Artists and Scholars Gather to Take Stock of South Asian American Art


10. What does it mean to make art in the South Asian Diaspora? Hrag Vartanian writes -

“In a 2013 interview, Sikander explained that “Miniature painting for me has always been heroic in scope and not limited by its scale — it is a space to unleash one’s imagination.” In the same way, there are those of us who see the specificities of our identity as doors to limitless terrain, and in the face of the mounting forces of white supremacy, to assert the complexity of your identity is a form of resistance — it is a strength on which to build on, not erase or sublimate.”


11. Bharti Lalwani for Art Asia Pacific writes -

“This year, pressing issues of our time—migration, gender, sexuality, race and religion—were tackled head-on at two events in New York: the exhibition “Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions: South Asian Art in the Diaspora” at Asia Society Museum, and the two-day conference “Fatal Love: Where Are We Now?” at the Asia Society Museum and Queens Museum.

Nineteen South-Asian-American artists explored the narratives of recent immigrants, second-generation Americans and transnational artists working in and around South Asia and America in “Lucid Dreams and Distant Visions.” The exhibition was a microcosm of what defines the American experience. Here, numerous artworks examined the notion
of home through intertwined personal and political histories within the framework of systemically biased and oppressive structures of authority. “


12. Queens.com wrote “South Asian Artists to gather for two day symposium and shows

13. Blouin Art info -


14. Artspiral -


16. A Salon of One's Own by Chaitali Sen

17. Loving Blackness by Illana Napoli

18. The Skin you are in by Jarreau Freeman

19. Love Your Blackness by Mikala Jamison

20. Outcasts: Women in the Wilderness