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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Bandu Manamperi

Residency at Plymouth College of Art and Design

In the consumer society we see that how objects attract and allure new consumers through the change of its outer ‘skin’: packaging. The consumer objects get enhanced through giving extreme attention to this outer skin called the packaging. Though promotional schemes such as advertising in the media and public displays these packaged objects are promoted and the consumers get attracted and caught in the whole process of this promotion. My work looks at this play of the ‘packaged object’ and the consumer. I take a spiritual object and investigate how it gets redefined in the market economy. My work enhances the fact that even these religious and spiritual objects have used their ‘skin textures’ as an allure or currency that attract consumers and define its value in the capitalist market.

“ I don’t think I am criticizing the society, but only observing it. I am observing how the mechanisms of market economy are transforming age-old cultural concepts into easily sellable commodities. The Buddha is one such concept that is transformed by the market: the politics of power and capital. At the end I am deprived of a style and identity”.

I will try to present this idea using the available material in the program. I would also like to look at how the religious objects are dealt within the market in the country which the residency being held which would help me to formulate my artwork within that environment.

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Bandu Manamperi talks to conference during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007