Aqua Mapping

April 26, 2014 - June 21, 2014

  • Avantika Bawa

SALTWORKS is pleased to present, Aqua Mapping, a solo exhibition of new works by Portland-based artist Avantika Bawa. The exhibition is presented through a series of prints, photographs and video footage. This is Bawa’s fourth exhibition at SALTWORKS.

Aqua Mapping is a series of three art interventions that respond to a site’s coastal history, topography and climate. Part one, Aqua Mapping (Kochi), engages with the routes of maritime trade in southern India, as well the routes of the local fishing vessels and passenger ferries. A large, inflated, orange blimp (alluding to floating buoys) was towed or carried on a Junkar (passenger) ferry, Vallam (local wooden boat) and a motorboat. The route that each of these vessels took was closely informed by their normal paths, and in some case the historic spice route. The journeys took place over several days around the coast and backwaters of Kochi, India.

These documented journeys, presented through a combination of still photos, and a time-lapse video projection attempts to actualize the dotted lines that serve as signifiers for these routes on maps.

“Essentially, I am interested in what happens when these conceptual (and often arbitrarily imposed) markers and borders – reminders of past and present geographic, military, and cultural boundaries – become part of the physical landscape. How do they confront the viewer with these histories and provoke questions of significance and authenticity in relation to current geographic technologies like the Google pin and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)?”

~Avantika Bawa

Avantika Bawa is an artist, curator, and academic with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Noteworthy exhibits include solo exhibitions at Suyama Space, Seattle, WA; The Columbus Museum, GA; the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta, GA; Nature Morte, Maskara in India; Disjecta, Portland, OR. Bawa is currently Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver, WA.