priya kambli

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about color falls down

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I WAS BORN and raised in India. I moved to the United States at the age of 18, carrying my entire life in one suitcase weighing about 20 lbs. I began my artistic career in the States, and my work has always been informed by my experience as a migrant. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and continued on to receive a Masters degree in Photography from the University of Houston. I am currently an Associate Professor of Art at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri - a community where I have lived longer than anywhere else. It's here in Kirksville that I met my husband and had our beautiful son, Kavi, with whom I can finally share the language that I grew up speaking.


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MY PHOTOGRAPHS visually express the notion of transience and split cultural identity caused by the act of migration. Recently in my artwork I have been viewing this issue through the lens of my own personal history and cultural identity. My move from India to the United States 13 years ago left me feeling that I do not belong fully to either culture – leaving me unable to anchor myself in any particular cultural framework. This disconnection from both cultures has changed the way I perceive myself by forming a hybrid identity, a patching together of two cultures within one person. Photography has been a way of bridging the gap between the two cultures while coming to terms with my dual nature. Ironically, because photography appears to be "true", it allows me to create convincing fictional depictions of my new identity. My digital photographs reflect the tension caused due to the duality by piecing together fragmented images and by mingling family snapshots with carefully staged imagery.


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