Verse Meets - Chila Burman

June 1, 2022
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Chila Burman is most well known for her colourful neon light installation ‘Remembering a Brave New World ‘ adorning Tate Britain’s facade in 2020. The commission referred to mythology, Bollywood, radical feminism, political activism and family memories. Chila Burman belongs to a generation of artists whose families had settled in post-war Britain and who emerged in the art circuits in the early 1980s. Alongside artists such as Lubaina Himid, Eddie Chambers and Sonya Boyce she was part of a generation of artists who questioned their inclusion in the mainstream art establishment by using a symbolic and iconographic language. Chila produced her most political works in the early 1980s primarily as a reaction to the riots in various parts of the UK.

Remembering a Brave New World, Tate Britain
Remembering a Brave New World, Tate Britain

Chila’s work explores the experiences and aesthetics of Asian femininity. She expresses these themes by employing a wide range of mediums including neon lights, paintings, installations, photography, printmaking, video and film. Her work challenges stereotypical assumptions of Asian women and is heavily influenced by Bollywood, the politics of femininity and self-portraiture.

Chila Kumari Burman lives and works in London.

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Picture of an artwork
Courtesy South London Gallery

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