Himali Singh Soin, writer and artist from India. Photo © Courtesy of the artist
1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.
I mostly read and write poems while travelling. Stories are the way the world feels like a planet: they hold our separation from each other and from nature together: I begin by telling a story.
2.What does your work aim to say?
It wants to enter into the voice of a meteorite, an iceberg, a leaf, a water serpent, the weather. It wants to tell stories from the perspective of silenced voices or othered voices while still allowing them the pleasure of silence and otherness. I like to think that poetry is a form of justice, that just by the way it uses metaphor and punctuation, it asks the reader to work, and then to play, it tips the scales away from any direct reward and towards the perfect attentiveness of the present.
3.Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Mostly in traveling to distant places, or by dreaming of places I may never visit. By walking on land, asking about the layers that might not be visible to me and that I further trample on as I walk. By listening and note-taking. I also find love to be a great inspiration: it messes up language, it distorts time, it occupies. What better way to be able to find newness in repetition than being in love?
4.Could you give us some insight into your creative process?
It’s a lot of writing, fidgeting, testing, replacing, trusting, talking, dancing, reading, remembering. Having grown up in India, I have always been taught to trust my intuition. Having studied in the United States, the importance of craft and the editorial process was hammered into me. Now, I try to use both as equal methods to tell a story.
5.What are your future projects?
My projects have begun to feel like long and endless continuations of each other. My two vast series of works, one from the polar circles and the other from the Himalayas, are continuing. My next two major works is a bird opera about a bird that travels from the North Pole to the South Pole and back, and the other is a book and an AR expedition to Mount Meru, the mountain at the centre of the cosmological universe in non-western mythologies.
Ancestors of the blue moon, 96 pages, indigo sandpaper, gold foil, red waxed cotton thread, 2021 © Courtesy of the artist Performance Still, Himali with video Radar Level, 2016 © Courtesy of the artist Static Range, film still, 2021 © Courtesy of the artist Cave, giclée on hahnemühle bamboo, 2019 © Courtesy of the artist Thinking like an island, poem, 2012 © Courtesy of the artist
Himali Singh Soin (New Delhi, 1987) is an Indian writer and artist who studied in London and earned her BA in Theater and English from Middlebury College, then a Masters in English Literature from The Bread Loaf School Of English and an MFA of Goldsmiths University in London.
Her artistic production is focused on the travels she began to make thanks to her explorer father and also on Indian identity as she is focused on a feeling of alienation, nativism, nationality and colonialism as a result of her upbringing. in Western culture. Her artistic sensibility comes to life through performances, poems, films, words, music and embroidery; the medium changes by the type of topic and the type of narration.
In 2017, Singh Soin participated in an artist residency in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and then went to Antarctica for National Geographic magazine. The artist has exhibited at the Serpentine Galleries, Dhaka Art Summit, Somerset House, Devi Art Foundation and Performa, among others, and she has also won the India Foundation for the Arts Award and the Frieze Artist Award. Himali Singh Soin works between New Delhi and London.