The title of the work comes from the Bollywood movie "Jab Tak Hai Jaan."
A desi girl, clothed in a hybrid of Indian and American garments, emerges from a puzzle with a computer and an H-1B visa. A dark city landscape merges with a temple-like structure adorned with a bird that sits on top of a gate. The work addresses the uncertainty, enthusiasm, pleasures, and pains associated with getting a temporary visa. The puzzled woman is enjoying her freedom yet trying to fit in the frame simultaneously.
Most of my work reflects issues of faith and survival, both personal and political. It addresses conflicts between the spiritual and material worlds, and the complexity in women and children’s lives in this postmodern world. My inner journey as an immigrant is depicted through a multitude of symbols, including pieces of puzzles, snakes, Indian gods, and American pop culture icons.
I explore myself through art, and it helps me survive and have faith in this confused and often contradictory world.
ELA SHAH was born in Bombay, India. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a diploma in Fine Arts in India and her M.A. in sculpture at Montclair State University. Her work has been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Arts in New Delhi, Queens Museum of Art in New York, William Benton Museum in Connecticut and other museums around the country. She has also held positions as a chairperson for the National Association of Women's Artists in N.Y, and has curated shows for them and other institutions. Her work is held in many public and private collections and she’s received numerous awards, including two awards from National Association of Women Artists in New York. Learn more about Ela's work at www.elashah.com