Vivan Sundaram: Amrita Sher-Gil is of mixed parentage. Her mother is Hungarian, her father is Sheik. She was born in 1913 and in fact died when she was just 28 years old. Of those 28 years she spent more or less half of it in Europe and half of it in India. Her training was in Paris and so therefore there is the very strong influence of Paris of the ‘30s but she imbibed very much of a kind of modernism which was not the avant-garde kind but a kind of realism that was being evolved between that period of the two Wars, and in a sense that informed some of her perspectives on the human figure. Now this painting she has done when she is in Paris and it’s remarkable because although it is a nude study she has given it a kind of dynamism and an energy, so it’s very much about desire but it’s also structured in a way that is very evocative and complex and the fact that it’s this top view and the face drawn diagonal gives this aspect of what is sleep a very quiet sort of energy, and in one sense this informs a lot of her work because her work is really very much about posing, about stillness. There is a tendency in Indian writing on her to say she abandoned everything from the West and started becoming Indian but that is not correct because she is constantly…firstly when she was working with oil paintings and she understands this materiality. This painting is done in Budapest in 1938/39 when she went back to marry her first cousin and for me it’s a remarkable painting because it sort of brings the various aspects of herself and her kind of personality that is working these opposites. Also the fact that she did not foreground very much the relationship of women in a very overt sense but that this painting and then if you read back to other paintings does speak about how a woman represents a woman and how a woman is able to also represent a relationship so it works in one sense, you know, in a kind of social sense if you take it if the marriage between the European and the Indian, the dark the other. I have been interested in bringing into my art work the photograph. I have done works which are photography based but a lot of them are to do with already found existing material but once I got into the digital format it allowed me to actually sort of take the family photograph which incidentally has no narrative element it is just documenting a moment to be able to transform these into various levels of relationships. The most dominant of course is father daughter relationship but it’s about East and West, it’s about identity, it’s about modernity. In each of these photographs I am able to create a kind of complex mood and narrative and the one at the very end, the long one which is the most complex I have, you know, the double portrait of advertise as European and Indian, I have the mother looking at herself and I am seated on my grandfather’s lap with a camera so in a sense as if I am taking this photograph.