"Structure of Unity"
The Realm of Cultural amalgamation in India is beyond merely comprehending or defining it. Growing up in the Northeastern state of Tripura, where traditions of not only regions but Nations culminate together, I have grown up closely watching the confluence of customs of both Tripura’s and Bangladesh’s cultures. And with the opportunity to showcase this unification at the residency, I weaved together in an installation the diversity of the village through one of its oldest traditional element, “Peeri”. In every Northeastern house, a small wooden seating, Peeri remarks a very personal aspect of every individual. Each member of the house has their own Peeri which stays with them for almost their entire life. Borrowing Peeris from almost every house of the village, I put together a structure metaphorically using each of it as a brick, which to me is a reflection that as each brick is united together to build a strong well, so is with people and cultures.
The Installation symbolized the coming together of all families and villages that dwell on the borders of Tripura and Bangladesh. I was very humbled with the villagers support in lending me their Peeris, and during the days of the installation display, it was like a carnival for them, they collectively gathered and saw an integral part of themselves in the art installation. It was during the building of the Statue of Unity, I had heard about this, where every house would contribute some metal which was to be used in the making of the statue as a symbol of unity, which I guess later did not happen, but this thought always remained with me, connecting people through their belongings, with I portrayed in the Installation.
I aimed at connecting through my installation to the villagers the concept of a home; the structure I constructed represented the strong walls of home but together one by one. The final form reflected the notion of a home, which symbolizes an intimate abode, a place of peace and relishes the sense of one’s existence. While we consider home as our own space, were we are brought up and live our life journey, the idea for home for migrating people across borders has dwelled in their constant shifting of places. I was indebted to the villagers and volunteers who weaved a sense of unity, coming together of people from different villages, with their Peeris.