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Home > Discover Mumbai > Art & Culture > Floral Futures
 
Floral Futures - Art in its nontraditional form

Floral Futures - An art installationFloral Futures - The very title destabilises notions of nature as eternal or historical. The study of flowers has a history and the burden of our floral knowledge bears different fruits with the passage of time. With sly reference to the futures market, the art installation 'Floral Futures' by Neha Choksi is described as a faux global company, that promotes a future where artificial nature, global capitalism and interior decoration all mingle.

Still from performance, 1994 Neha Choksi who spent very many years in New York and Los Angeles, was an art and literature student. She studied at the UCLA under artists John Valdessari, Meg Cranston, Thadeus Strode, Christopher William and Paul McCarthy. She would prefer to be called a sculptor and photographer, though she has many art installations also to her credit. Neha currently lives in Mumbai, where she moved last year. She had her first gallery show in Sydney, Australia in 1999. This artist has also performed and installed her work in Los Angeles and Mumbai, in noncommercial spaces.

Floral Futures is the name of a faux global company (a creative fiction of the artist), which aims to plant artificial flowers manufactured all over the globe firmly into our economies and our particular daily landscapes. The Floral Futures company provides the 'low art' service of offering tips for decor with fake flowers in domestic and institutional settings, and more personally, of matching floral moods to suit a person, while also providing the 'high art' service of creating unique and scientific botanical watercolours detailingPhoto from the Paramour series, (1994 or '95), wallet-sized photo objects with Vellum protection these fake flowers. "My installation is all about the high art and low art dichotomy - how they are similar and the gender bias attributed to it. High art was mainly the domain on men who worked on botanical studies showcasing only perfect artificial flowers, not the worm infested leaf or torn petal. Whereas, low art was the attributed to women, decorating the interior of their houses with flowers," Neha explains.

Appropriately, since art objects usually end up in interior spaces, whether in the home, restaurant, office or elsewhere, this exhibition by Floral Futures integrates both the 'high' and the 'low' in five product stalls, each projecting a distinct topological interior landscape or scenario. This unique theme, is not without meaning. "People look upon a history of plants without figures as a book of geography without maps. Floral Futures' watercolours of artificial flowers map a world connected by economic appetite and by an entrenched investment in simulation culture. The watercolours record our landscape 'Making Monsoon' - a photograph document of a nostalgic attempt to recreate the weather system of Asia where flowers native to South Africa or California are manufactured in Thailand or Korea and those native to Japan are manufactured in California. It is a strange reflection of the age of travel and imperialism, which led to the 'discovery' of new flora and fauna and prompted the development of genre of botanical illustrations," Neha discusses its symbolic representation.

Explaining the source of her creative instincts Neha says, "I studied art in its non traditional form - very contemporary with modern influences. I did not specialise in any particular form of art, the course did not offer any specialisation. It was all about ideas and your interpretation of them."

Floral Futures' interior flower arrangements addresses the freewheeling global economies that promote an aesthetic of homely beauty.

Check out this installation at the Fine Art Company gallery if you want to set your creative juices flowing.

Date: 13 April to 5 May, 2001

Neha Choksi will be available in her position at Design Specialist every Saturday at the gallery from 5.00 to 7.00 pm.
(14, 21, 28 April and 5 May)

Address:

Fine Art Company,
Gallery, Next to Grindlays Bank,
Santacruz West, Mumbai - 400 004.
Phone: 2605 6455 / 2605 6456
Fax: 2649 7551
E - mail: graheja@vsnl.com

 
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