Space Oddity performed by Nikhil Chopra

Shradha Ramesh of Saffronart reports on Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s venture with artist Nikhil Chopra

New York: Nikhil Chopra explores the culture of South Asian community and portraiture through ‘Space Oddity’, through an eighteen hour live performance.

Space Oddity is a collaborative contemporary art program by National Trust,Oriel Davis and Wave- Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Meadows Art in collaboration with Shakti, a retrospective response to socio-economic transition in UK and the subcontinent. The overaching theme of the exhibition that is held across Midlands, Wales,Powis Castle and Kedleston Hall explores the power of creative engagement and channels. Wolverhampton Art Gallery invited artist to create a visual commentary on their South Asian art and Indian artefacts.

Founded in 1884, Wolverhampton Art Gallery houses artworks from UK and abroad. The art collection spans over 300 years of art that reflects both 20th British Art collection and 21st art from across the globe.          

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 99 hour site specific performance, 2012. Photo: Shivani Gupta, Costumes: Sabine Pfisterer.

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 99 hour site specific performance, 2012. Photo: Shivani Gupta, Costumes: Sabine Pfisterer. Image Credit:

 Nikhil Chopra’s Space Oddity is a visual documentary of the South Asian community. Space Oddity the title is derived from the 1969 song by David Bowie, the exhibit reflects the socio and economic evolution of London from women’s rights, the empowerment of the working class, booming Western economies and hundreds of thousands of migrants from former English colonies.

Curator Jane Morrow’s responses to the concept “Wolverhampton Art Gallery holds an extensive collection of South Asian art and Indian artefacts, which are testament to the Victorian craze for ‘exoticism’. We are delighted that Nikhil Chopra will be visiting Wolverhampton and responding to our collection with a performance piece specially created for the city.”He would produce charcoal drawings members of Wolverhampton’s South Asian community and gallery onlookers as a way of reflecting Colonial India and examining the role of portraiture.

Born in Calcultta, Nikhil Chopra (b 1974) works in Mumbai. The artist works in the realm of photography, drawing and performance centered on Colonial India and personal experience.

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 2012

Nikhil Chopra, Inside Out, 2012. Image Credit:

Internationally recognized, Chopra is known for his performance such as Making Worlds at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Coal on Cotton at Manchester International Festival, 2013, Manchester and his character Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing II, 2007 Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai. Working across disciplines he leaves an ephemeral visual footprint by blurs the boundaries between artwork and the audience space through integration of drawing and performance. Chopra graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University,Baroda, Maryland Institute of Baltimore and Ohio state university. In 2007, he was chosen as resident artist at Khoj International Association.

Three day live performance featuring Nikhil Chopra, Space Oddity, will run from 28th November to 30th November, 2013.

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