RAMESH MARIO NITHIYENDRAN
Dhaka Art Summit
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Dispatch from Dhaka: five highlights from the fourth Art Summit
by Gareth Harris
"A series of garish, in-your-face idols are causing a stir at the Dhaka Art Summit (DAS). The totemic mixed-media statues, by the Sri Lankan-born artist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, are described on the wall text as 21st-century “deities in drag” but Nithiyendran points out that the works are multivalent, referencing numerous sources including Hinduism, a religion where “multi-gender idols are a paradigm”, he says (the internet, pornography and fashion are his other sources)."
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran's Idols was commisioned and produced by Artspace, Sydney and the Samdani Art Foundation for the Dhaka Art Summit 2018. The project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body, and supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Culural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.