Mithila "MaaKasam" Malaviya
Can an artist make anything utterly independent of who they are?
Maybe you can; I can not. I do not comprehend anything other than the necessity to make a piece that is significant to moments of my life. Since my life is not being lived in pieces and is ever-changing, my works are also frequently re-made or added on-to if need be. Using materials or tools as a language that help me recognize and transcribe my thoughts into art, I use myself as the levain for any project. Discovering or learning a medium during a project is a part of my process and is as crucial as developing the idea itself.
Since life is made with a combination of small moments and a few life-altering moments, so is my work. Works like Non Dom 2021, Illustrated Lyric Series 2021, Proof Of Life 2018 - 2019, The Mohabbatien Project 2017, Repressed 2016, The Woman Who Reads You 2015, and more showcase the petite in-between flashes of my life. I use these pieces to titillate my audiences with my incline towards psychology and showcase my creativity. However, works like Ashram 25 2021, Picchla Jharokha & Zoom Today 2021, NTBE 2019 - present, Color Me Red 2017, and HYDE 2015 represent the more notable moments of my life where sometimes I need to take a stand. Through these pieces, I investigate and understand my own personal and artistic growth alongside society's ruin and constant failure to do good by humans.
It is arduous to separate myself from my work as I am an overly passionate being who requires an outlet for everything my body feels. This outlet was unearthed in art and art alone. My culture, sentiments, struggles, uncertainties, and more all find their way out of me through art. NTBE 2019, a piece about domestic violence, began as a small written expression of my own experience of sexual assault. The Mohabbatien Project 2017 encompassed my love and appreciation for all the people in my life. All my pieces start as a need inside my body that turns into psychosomatic physical pain or art.
As I live my life, I collect all these moments into my idea notebook and find ways to transcribe them into art pieces. I could be convening in a social setting, and a sentence said by someone would quickly get my mind running. I would immediately visualize what I could do with it, associate words, and find similar concepts. You may think an idea I wrote down at a dinner party a year ago is not relevant today. However, all concepts remain relevant if executed well. With subjects like female foeticide, ownership, or repressed memories, I try my hardest to make sure what I have to say is well researched, supported with factual data, and conduct public surveys if need be.
Recently, my piece Ashram 25 2021 started from my frustration of not knowing or coming across enough eastern artists. Those successful eastern artists I encounter try to rid themselves of their cultural identity, which further fuels my confusion. No culture has done right by its people 100% of the time; however, I find it hard to believe that not more than a handful of artists like their culture. A project that began as a representation of all Asian countries ended up being about just one, me. I embrace my cultural ways of showcasing a new era of life and congratulate myself on graduating in the most traditional way possible. Using rice paste, red ocher mud, sugarcane, red thread, and my art pieces, I build my graduating work, each symbolizing something. Ashram 25 will be a harvest of myself from a planted student to a ripe professional.