NYU A/P/A Institute Artist Talk

On November 16, 2016 I was invited to participate in a public conversation at New York University entitled “Fashion Diaspora” with artist Ayqa Khan, academic and author of Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Feminity, and South Asia American Culture (Temple UP, 2016) Vanita Reddy, academic Sharon Heijin Lee, academic and author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion (Duke UP, 2011)Thuy Linh Tu, and myself. It was an engaging post-Trump evening of sharing artwork, research and ideas on the ways in which we can look to fashion as a way of understanding diaspora. We had a full house and a lively discussion. You can watch a recording of the entire evenings proceedings and see photos from the event. A very special thank you to The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU for the opportunity to share my work in New York.

Diwali 2016 Artwork for McDonalds

Diwali 2016 brought many gifts including the opportunity to create a Diwali poster for McDonald’s restaurants in the US. Working closely with Leo Burnett USA, I created an original artwork for the McDonald’s Diwali 2016 campaign. The poster made a month-long appearance at each and every McDonald’s across the United States. It was a wonderful experience expanding my skills to include commercial illustration. Check out the poster below.

Royal Canadian Mint Coin Design

Gold, silver, nickel and coins of various other metals have been a regular feature of Diwali for me. Even the humble penny. As a child celebrating Diwali I remember following a ritual laid out by my father that I little understood: washing all the coins in the prayer plate, annointing them with milk and red sandoor. It was an offering to Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity.

I continue this today, however this year I have had the privilege of designing a 1oz. gold coin for the Royal Canadian Mint. Inspired by Rangoli designs, this Limited Edition coin is available online from the Royal Canadian Mint where you can also read about the symbolism. Click on the hand to reveal the numismatic coin!

Solo Show @ Daniels Spectrum Opening Night Photos

Opening night for my current solo exhibition "Upping the Aunty" at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park, Toronto was spectacular. We had such a fabulous range of people come through over the 4 hours. People saw, coloured, ate, drank (there may even have been a few dance moves), connected. Daniels Spectrum and the wonderful people who work there from the curator elle alconcel to the Executive Director Seema Jethalal is an inspired place existing in the precious in-between space of a gallery and a community hub. It is an honour to show my work there. Photo credit: Yannick Anton (@yannickanton)

A Colouring Book for Adults

While continuing work on my Upping the Aunty series of large-scale paintings, I decided to take a few weeks off to create the Upping the Aunty colouring book for adults and children alike. The book features 30 drawings all ready to be coloured in. It's a feminist project that simultaneously challenges how we see our aunties and how we see fashion. Some of the drawings are humorous, some subversive and others just plain fun.

The book was launched at The 6IX Goddess, NorBlack NorWhite's pop-up in Toronto this past September. The first print run has sold out, however a second run in ready for purchase in the shop for the holiday season. The Upping the Aunty Colouring Book is only $20 and ships internationally from Toronto. Get yours!

Press, Press and More Press!

Over the month of August and into early September, my project entitled “Upping the Aunty” has received a wave of positive press. NPRNBCMidday, The Times of India, The Hindu and others have written about the project and shared photographs from the aunty street style tumblr. Countless others have shared the project through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Little did I know when I started this project that the ubiqutous “Aunty,” her presence and her style, would touch the hearts and minds of thousands of people. From the brilliant historian and critic of Indian culture, Vijay Prashad (who tweeted about the project), to the incredible actor Lisa Ray (who is now a follower), “Upping the Aunty” has people talking about the once forgotten about “Aunty” with her socks with open-toed sandals to her runners with salwars!