Flared Shift Dress

1 X

Vinita Karim - Timeless

Plotting Vinita Karim’s artistic career is a little like navigating the geo-politics of a world shaped by geography and trade. Born in Myanmar, educated in Germany, Sudan, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Sweden, Karim, from the early stages of her development as an artist in Stockholm, Nuremberg, Berne, Madras, Cairo, Manila, Libya, Dhaka and cities across India, looked to histories and cultures as the staging points of her interest. Her landscapes embody the crossroads of millennia-old harbours and ports, the entry points to regions and countries where one might find a babble of tongues, a mélange of spices, a cosmopolis of peoples and costumes and celebrations.

These are her cities within cities, neighbourhoods within neighbourhoods, homes and houses, places of mystery and discovery, with Karim as timekeeper of the rhythms of day and night, of seasons and celestial movements, of tides and moonrise, sunsets and breakwaters; of the rise and fall of dynasties, empires, trade routes, great and small migrations; with the artist recording their destinies in her logbook of canvas and paint, gold and copper foil, and ingredients and objects of trade. Humanity is shaped by celestial circumambulations and diurnal and nocturnal movements, the stars and planets that—unmindful of human destinies, their successes and follies—continue to follow a path in which time cannot be calculated in our terms, so infinitesimal is its scope. 

A decade after settling in South Asia, Karim exchanged her shopping for cultural experiences with experimentalism in her use of materials. Her oeuvre is steeped in the crossings of commerce and intellectual curiosity that have led to the making of our modern world. Hers is the art of the timekeeper even though in its vast universality, Karim is a timekeeper of the timeless.

K.S. Dhupalia