In Bloom

Is it possible for you to honor your history while simultaneously blowing it into oblivion? Can you give tribute to the conventions that helped form your identity and, at the same time, call for their disassembly? These are some of the questions surrounding the new exhibit “Exploding the Lotus,” a multi-medium, multi-artist show opening Thursday at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (1650 Harrison St., Hollywood). Featuring the works of nearly two-dozen artists working with canvas, video, photography, installation, and sculpture, “Lotus” exposes a frequently unexplored cross section of South Asian/American artwork, one where contemporary politics, feminism, and cultural critique collide with traditionalism.

Co-curator Jaishri Abichandani, an India native and transplant New Yorker, has selected a broad swath of works for “Lotus,” all of which grapple with the changing face of South Asia. Start with Ansuman Biswas’ “Self Portrait” – a multi-colored, thermal-mapped figure sitting cross-legged in a void, suggesting a transition between old-world spirituality and technical transcendence. Then there’s Pakistani artist Fawad Khan, who offers familiar objects – buses, plants, people – then rips them into a vibrant plume of parts. His diaspora of bloodless limbs and cascading sheets definitely evokes regional turmoil, but through the filter of time and distance. There’s plenty more to explore, so check out the opening reception of “Exploding the Lotus” tonight at 6 p.m. Admission costs $6. Call 954-921-3274, or visit
Feb. 28-May 25, 2008

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