Photographer Neil Chowdhury, new this academic year to Fresno State’s art department, gets a creative introduction to the community with his new show “Burdens and Desires” at Corridor 2122. The exhibition tells the story of Chowdhury’s lifelong dream of exploring India, the land of his father’s birth.
An opening reception runs 5-8 p.m. Thursday, March 5, as part of ArtHop, the monthly open house of galleries and studios in the downtown and Tower District neighborhoods.
Chowdhury was born in England and immigrated to Canada and then the U.S. as an infant. He first visited India in 2001, and his work in the Corridor show represents his personal and creative exploration of India during his trips there.
A number of works in collage are included in the show. Chowdhury juxtaposes his own photographs with illustrative, advertising and secular images, along with popular Indian “calendar art” imagery of Hindu deities. The collages represent his visceral response to his first impressions of India.
“I was fascinated by the amazing energy of the streets, the sheer mass of humanity and the incredible diversity of human culture, expression and tradition as it was juxtaposed with the frenetic energy of a country that seemed to be transforming itself right before my eyes,” he says. “I found that as creatively inspired as I was by the visual layering of culture, commerce, history and humanity, I wasn’t able to understand or process all I was seeing, nor could I capture my overwhelming feelings in single photographic images.”
In his “McIndia,” a man and woman sit on a “bench” of French fries while a collage of secular and sacred Indian characters — and Ronald McDonald — looks on.
“This image is my attempt to address the mismatch of corporate fast food outlets with India’s Hindu tradition of treating cows with reverence, rather than a source of cheap protein,” he says.
The show also includes portraits, which Chowdhury says come “from a quieter place.”
More ArtHop picks
, 660 Van Ness Ave., Barbara Van Arnam’s “Better than Prozac” features work in drawings, paintings and sculpture. It focuses on a world of “infinite positives” in the life around us that can provide support and tranquility in the face of societal anxiety.www.gallery25.org
, 644 Van Ness Ave., Hazel Antaramian Hofman’s “pieces II” is in recognition of the Armenian genocide and its effects on the psyche of an entire people. Antaramian visually re-considers her family history of diaspora Armenians from Ottoman Turkey, Armenians living in host countries, and Armenians under Stalin’s rule. (559) 485-0460,www.figtreegallery.us
• AtArte Americas
, 1630 Van Ness Ave., a new exhibition is titled “One Degree of Separation: A Sisterhood of California Women Artists.” The show started off with a core of 15 artists who have either shown work at Arte previously or were directly connected with gallery presentations. “We asked some of these individuals to invite up to two other women whom they knew personally, and whose work they admired … and the number of participants more than doubled,” says executive director Frank Delgado. (559) 266-2623,www.arteamericas.org