Diya Khurana / Vivarta (Mumbai)
Vivarta (2020) by artist Diya Khurana
In Hindu mythology the banyan tree is also called kalpavriksha, meaning “wish-fulfilling tree,” as it represents eternal life because of its seemingly ever-expanding branches. In India people tie Nadachadi (ritual protection thread) around banyan trees, because they believe the sanctified red thread with the blessings of deities will protect a person from disease, enemies, or grant them wishes when wrapped around the tree of life.
Vivarta is an interactive installation in the form of a wishing tree, drawing from the tree of life motif and adapted from the Sidi Sayed Jali in Ahmedabad, Gujarat where the artist grew up. This artwork invites the audience to pick a scratch card and tie it to the tree with the nadachadi, akin to the symbolism of what is predestined rather than what we aspire.
BIO: Indian artist Diya Khurana evolved into a multimedia artist over the course of her education. She graduated with a bachelor of fine arts from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2021), after which she moved back to India to explore the professional art world. Her main focus is to use her print practice and find a way to combine it with her love for interactive art, to achieve a middle ground that connects her creations directly with her audience.
Her first big step into the Indian art scene was as an organizer to @Aalloa, a private artist residency, in 2015 and 2017. She currently works as an exhibitions assistant for Mumbai based gallery Project 88. Through her work, Diya strives to introduce and educate her audience on the culture that so strongly defines her art as well as her.
She is additionally working towards starting a community print studio and gallery that works at giving younger artists a place to explore their talent—and a platform to showcase it.