Sutapa Biswas is a British-Indian conceptual artist, who works across a range of media including painting, drawing, film and time-based media. Since the early 1980s, Sutapa’s works have explored themes of time and space, particularly in relationship to gender, identity and desire.
Sutapa was born in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India, in 1962. At the age of four, she moved to London, England, with her family, and grew up in Southall. Between 1981 and 1985 she studied at the University of Leeds. She then studied art the Slade School of Art in London and then at the Royal College of Art.
‘’Though much time has passed since my journey from the country of my birth to a country that is now my home, the complex relationship that has existed between these two places for centuries now, has given way to a certain poetry that belongs to both of them, which inevitably has consequently entered my psyche.’’
Since the mid-1980s, Sutapa has worked across moving image, photography, painting, installation and performance to explore concepts such as temporality and colonial trade networks in poetic and provocative ways, all while centring her experiences as a brown, female immigrant.
Sutapa Biswas’s ‘Housewives with Steak Knives’
Sutapa often draws from myths and iconography from ancient Hindu mythologies, speaking of the symbolism. Her art engages with questions of identity, race and gender in relation to time, space and history. She is also keen to use humour and satire in her work.
‘’The way in which I use humour in my work varies. But, usually, it’s sharp or subtle. I like the concept of the “double-take”. Like a puzzle, it can take you by surprise.’’
A still from Sutapa Biswas’s film ‘Lumen’
Sutapa’s works have been widely reviewed and are held in numerous collections including: TATE Collections, Arts Council England, Sheffield Museums and Art Galleries, APT New York, Reed College (USA).