Art from the South Asian Women's Creative Collective

- March 1 - April 13, 2013

Featuring works by Samira Abbassy, Nida Abidi, Chitra Ganesh, and more

- Opening Reception - Friday, March 1, 7-9pm
- Artists' Talk & Performance - Saturday, April 13, 3:30-5:30pm (Closing Reception, 5:30-7pm)

The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery is honored to present Be/Longing, debuting the work of the South Asian Women's Creative Collective (SAWCC) in Washington, DC. The artists in the exhibition are Samira Abbassy, Jaishri Abichandani, Nida Abidi, Amina Ahmed, Shelly Bahl, Marcy Chevali, Ruby Chishti, Chitra Ganesh, Monica Jahan Bose, & Sa’dia Rehman.  

Be/Longing is a story of rapture and struggle and fierce female identity, saturated with history, religion, and an explosive mix of ideas and materials. The artists are part of SAWCC (pronounced “Saucy”), a collective of women artists of the South Asian diaspora, each tackling the politics of gender, hierarchy, and sexuality within the framework of a post-colonial, globalized world.  Be/Longing also addresses how diasporic women – each with her own ambiguous identity and multiple allegiances – navigate “belonging” to a country, a place, and a collective. 

Artists in Be/Longing reference the body, directly or metaphorically, whole or dismembered, to address the duality of female experience. Abichandani (India/USA) uses whips and crystals to make  “drawings,” alluding to both ecstasy and domination.  Chishti’s (Pakistan/USA) poetic soft figures made of nylon stockings are headless females with just breasts and genitalia.  Bose (Bangladesh/USA) uses saris and other garments in her work to represent the female body and sexuality. In her video, Abidi (USA/India) interchanges a veiled woman with paparazzi taking photos of pop idols, addressing the global fetishization of women’s bodies. Ganesh (USA/India) draws on mythology and pop culture to create images with alternate narratives of sexuality and power in a world where untold stories keep rising to the surface. Emboldened by collective action, these marginalized voices defy regional and sexual boundaries to connect with the greater question of what it is to “belong.” 

SAWCC has hosted annual exhibitions at Exit Art, the Henry Street Settlement and Chuchifritos Gallery in New York.   Its critically acclaimed fifteenth anniversary exhibition, Her Stories, was held at the Queens Museum of Art in 2012 and will travel in June 2013 to the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Virginia. More information -

Please join us on Saturday, April 13th for a closing featuring the performance/installation, Indelible Scent, by Monica Jahan Bose from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, followed by the Artists’ Talk from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, and a closing reception from 5:30 to 7pm.

[Images: (top) Amina Ahmed, Listening Archetypes, Roots, Weeds & Trees, (middle) Ruby Chishti, Soft Restraints, (bottom) Chitra Ganesh, The Awakening]

Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 11am-5pm, Saturday, 11am-3pm, and by appointment.

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery is located at 1632 U Street, in Northwest DC
Learn more about the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery

Special thanks to our wine sponsor Majestic Fine Wines:


 All of our specially featured Majestic Fine Wines are available for discount at Calvert Woodley

Free RSVP $0

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