The work of Varunika Saraf is often discussed in relation to miniature painting. But while Saraf has studied miniature painting, and quotations from it frequently crop up in her work, this work is not a contemporary version of the genre (in the way that might be said of artists graduating from the National College of Arts in Lahore). And, while Saraf quotes from European painting (from Hieronymus Bosch for example) her practice seems only loosely informed by this tradition. Instead, she works a rich seam that brings together a range of different traditions and techniques – situating her practice at the intersection between painting, calligraphy, collage and textile art. Considering Saraf’s work in relationship to all of these different genres and her position between them, brings up a series of questions concerning the hierarchy of the fine and applied arts, the idea of ‘woman’s work’ and the cultural traditions of occident and orient which treat these categories differently.
Born 1981 in Hyderabad, India
Currently pursuing a PhD (Supervisor Dr. Kavita Singh), School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi
M Phil, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi
MFA (Painting), University of Hyderabad
BFA (Painting), J.N.T.U. College of Fine Arts, Hyderabad
Lives and works in Hyderabad
'DWELLING', 10th Anniversary Show, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, curated by Ranjit Hoskote