#uppingtheaunty. I'm here in Mumbai, India upping the ante on street style. As part of my one-month artist residency in Mumbai, I am documenting "aunties" with swag. Mostly this consists of "aunty-spotting" and then explaining in my broken Hindi that I like how they put themselves together and want to document and celebrate this through my art. Some aunties are indulgent and flattered while others are suspicious. I always ask permission before taking a snap.
I'm interested in changing the game on fashion. Who do we think is fashionable? How do we determine what style is? Who creates cool? South Asian aunties rock to their own beat. They bring the tradition in fresh ways and are deeply interested in personal expression through clothing. Aunties also hold a special place in our hearts, particularly in the global South Asian diaspora.
In South Asian culture, an aunty may or may not be a biological relation. She may be a friend of the family or a stranger. But if she is older than you – old enough to be your mother's friend – then she is accorded the status of aunty. Neither our mothers nor part of our peer group, aunties may be trusted confidantes or gatekeepers of social decorum.
With the new work, I will pay homage to the fabulousness of aunty style and the importance of their role as transmitters of social and cultural knowledge and practices.
Who's your aunty? Do you dig her style. Post a photo on your preferred social network with the hashtag #uppingtheaunty and make sure to tell me about it!