The Body of Sound: Samita Sinha and Risha Lee
Video documentation from this program is available on-site at AAAinA’s reading room, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment to visit.
Composer and vocal artist Samita Sinha offers sounds and images from several recent works, including the upcoming This ember state. In her work, Sinha deconstructs Indian classical music and combines tradition and experiment to create sound and performance work that investigates the experience of being a body in the world, and psychic charges past and present.
Curator and writer Risha Lee will join her in conversation to offer her perspective on Sinha’s process and themes, and its wider entanglement with issues of gender, race, and representation of Asian art in America. Together they will discuss how Sinha distills tradition into sonic material with which she sculpts physical and psychic space.
Samita Sinha, composer and vocal artist, is currently at work on This ember state, commissioned and produced by Asia Society as part of the Creative Common Ground Initiative, and set to premiere in April 2018. Past performance works include bewilderment and other queer lions (2016) commissioned by Performance Space 122 and Invisible Dog Art Center for COIL Festival, and Cipher (2014-15), a solo work that toured nationally (The Kitchen, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival, REDCAT, Wexner Center for the Arts, Virginia Tech) with support from National Endowment for the Arts and National Performance Network. Sinha has taught and exhibited at the Rubin Museum of Art as well as Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico City), and teaches voice at Womankind (formerly New York Asian Women’s Center).
Risha Lee is an independent curator and writer. Most recently she organized The World Is Sound at the Rubin Museum of Art. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University and her work has focused on cross-cultural encounters that expand historiographical representations of Asia, design strategy, and community engagement with the arts. She has taught at Columbia University and the American University of Beirut, and has held curatorial positions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National University of Singapore, and the American Institute of Indian Studies.
Image caption: Samita Sinha, This ember state, 2017. Photographer: Dean Moss. Image courtesy of the artist.