N S Harsha uses a variety of media – figurative painting and drawing, sculpture, multimedia installations and community-based collaborations – to investigate relationships between contemporary globalisation and the human condition. His works embrace modern Indian narratives to present commentaries and observations on social and political issues such as the collision and synchronisation of cultures, human labour and rights.
Nations is an installation of treadle sewing machines and hand-painted flags that represent the 192 countries in the United Nations, all entangled with threads. Through this work, Harsha highlights international politics and the outsourcing of disenfranchised and alienated labourers in response to the demands of world economies. Unlike the previous presentations of this work at the 2009 Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates and also in 2009, at INIVA in London, this installation at the Govett-Brewster features heirloom sewing machines loaned from people and museums in Taranaki and Whanganui, calling to mind personal and social histories of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Of Nations, N S Harsha says "This work took shape after my visit to a local small scale textile factory in which I personally experienced the realities of ‘human labour'. Hierarchies and exploitation are part of today's global economic order. Nations engages with these socio-political complexities and cultural entanglements."
See New Zealand television channel TV3 Nightline's article on Nations -
Indian artist addresses globalisation in New Plymouth show
Indian born and based N S Harsha (Mysore, 1969) has exhibited internationally in group, solo and collaborative shows, including the Singapore Biennale 2006, the 9th Sharjah Biennial 2008, 29th Bienal de Sao Paulo 2010 and the Liverpool Biennial 2010. He has won several international art prizes, including the prestigious Artes Mundi Prize in 2008. N S Harsha is currently the 2012 Artist in Residence at the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm in Berlin.