A Foreword by the Curator
The Womb of the Covid inspired by the COVID 19 virus is an existential docu-narrative in visual, literary and audio-visual formats. Singapore artist Joyotee Ray Chaudhury has reinvigorated her artistic impulse with diverse techniques and tools from her armoury in expressing her inner states of mind during these difficult times. She juxtaposes them symbolically against massive changes the pandemic has brought in its aftermath the world over. Within a few months, a significant body of works has emerged which was produced as a “silent observer” by the artist against the “omnipresence” of the Corona virus. She ‘travels’ through the world which is now a near “No Fly Zone” and brings forth new vocabulary, new emotions, new imageries and new normal the whole humanity was neither familiar nor prepared for.
With the passing of each day, marvelling at the omnipotence of the virus and how it has debilitated the humanity – displacement, the plight of the migrant workers everywhere; new meaning of Home, #stayinghome, vulnerability, the proliferation of ‘social distancing’ and wearing masks in public – has taken on a new meaning altogether. The keen eye and ear of the artist have not missed a single cue – be it from nature when it began healing, or birds chirping in reclaiming their universe, to human beings adapting to “working from home” and “teaming” via teaming technologies. Amidst all this chaos and humbling experiences, the artist’s humour is tickled when terms such as “Covidiot” emerged during the pandemic. While building a circle of trust and commenting on global, local, individual and personal responses, the artist remains a silent observer from the womb of the Covid as the time ticks on. The images of artworks strung together by various techniques have been digitally layered to combine the power of words, symbols, logos, found objects and pen and gouache renderings transposing the empirical and the ephemeral into a time capsule for posterity.
Dr Gauri Parimoo Krishnan
Founding Director, DMBG Consultants