The identity of Indian-American-Jewish artist Siona Benjamin is layered and multifaceted, just like her artwork.
Raised as a Jew and member of the Bene Israel community in a largely Hindu and Muslim Mumbai, she attended Catholic and Zoroastrian schools before moving to the US. Benjamin’s transcultural view has been shaped by diverse, complex experiences and is inspired by history and mythology, as illustrated by the captivating characters and symbolism which populate her pieces.
Immigration, gender, the concept of ‘home’, and the role of art in social change are explored through vibrantly hued paintings blending tradition with innovation and navigating feelings of inclusion and exclusion. Further reflecting current issues, Benjamin’s work considers and challenges perceptions about culture, race and religion, and in crossing boundaries and building bridges, she asks viewers to do the same.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition – Beyond Borders: The Art of Siona Benjamin, the essays written for this publication probe the complex nature of borders, considering how Siona Benjamin’s art invites us to imagine the world both from and beyond them. Explore textual, religious and cultural allusions in Bejamin’s work and identify points of personal connection within it.