Project 88 is pleased to present Asterism - a series of prints by Kaamna Patel and Kristina Chan. “Superstition is a natural refuge for people who are powerless.”
- Carl Sagan
The heavens have been a natural refuge and safe haven for centuries and civilisations throughout history. When we look to the stars we look for discernible patterns, ordinances, and constellations that we believe provide grounding and direction. Mapping the sky as it maps us, seeking understanding and imposing order to the universe as we do our lives, we impose recognisable images that soothe our sentiments and tame the skies. We look into the sublime and we see ourselves. But it is all we can do, see ourselves in the promise of infinity. Early hunter folk saw animals and young female forms, and the 17th Century Constellation Mania gave pride of place to geographical features like rivers, crests of wealthy families or even telescopes, as an attempt to banish old pagan myths and beliefs. What present day hopes, fears, myths and aspirations would we project onto the skies if we had to redraw the constellations?
Asterism is a collection of limited edition, pigment prints on Japanese Washi paper. The pieces are based on imagery sourced from the Hubble telescope, which were then recomposed and reproduced by hand as screen prints by the artists. These final modern constellation maps have been produced as pigment prints on Japanese Washi paper. The interplay between the ancient and the modern, the traditional and the contemporary, both in concept and medium mimics the artist’s re-imaginings of contemporary culture’s constellations. These new constellations reflect our society today in all its brevity, satire, beauty, and collapse. Asterism is accompanied by an instrumental recording by Rahul Nadkarni created in response to the works on display. The three sound pieces have been performed using a guitar and an electronic bow to create the detuning, vacuum-like drones that tie them together.
About the artists: Kaamna Patel is a photographer & visual artist currently based in Mumbai. Her themes revolve around identity & globalisation, putting the world and herself under scrutiny, a objectivity facilitated by a lifestyle of constant travel. Her world is silent, full of clues & somewhat surreal. Kaamna received a scholarship to study Photography at Parsons Paris, from where she graduated in 2013. Her work has been exhibited in France, India & the UK since 2009. Kristina Chan is an artist and master printmaker currently based in London, UK. She has studied and printed and exhibited extensively across the world including New York, Paris, London, and Cape Town. Inspired by the world and its idiosyncrasies, Kristina’s work addresses the past’s constant resurgence in the present and how these collisions in time interrupt and inform the present. Kristina received her BA in Parsons Paris Institute of Design and went on to graduate from the Royal College of Art in London, UK as a master in print, traditionally trained in lithography, etching, screen print, and digital media manipulation.