Avantika Bawa

Aqua Mapping

August 18 – September 26, 2015

White Box at the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts in Portland is pleased to present the dot. Aqua Mapping, a solo exhibition by Avantika Bawa.

Aqua Mapping is a series of three interventions that respond to a sites coastal history, topography and climate. Part one, Aqua Mapping (Kochi) engages with the routes of maritime trade in southern India, as well the routes of the local fishing vessels and passenger ferries. Part two; Aqua Mapping (Baltimore and Annapolis) explores commercial and military routes in the waters of the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay. Part three; Aqua Mapping (Astoria) highlights the rugged coastline of this historic port city and ‘Graveyard of the Pacific’.

In each version, a large, inflated, orange blimp (alluding to floating buoys) was towed or carried on a passenger ferry, Vallam (indigenous wooden boat), sail or motorboat. The route that each of these boats took was closely informed by their normal paths, and journeys that were of historic and current, commercial and military significance.

These documented journeys, presented through a combination of still photos, and a time-lapse video projection attempt to actualize the dotted lines that serve as signifiers for these routes on maps.

Bawa is interested in what happens when these conceptual markers and borders–reminders of past and present geographic, military, and cultural boundaries–become part of the physical landscape. the dot. Aqua Mapping confronts the viewer with these histories and provokes questions of significance and authenticity in relation to current geographic technologies like the Google pin and Global Positioning Systems.

Avantika Bawa is an artist, curator, and academic. She has an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1998) and a BFA in Painting from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India (1995). She has participated in the Skowhegan, MacDowell, Jentel, Vermont Studio Center, Kochi Biennial Foundation and Djerassi residencies.

Noteworthy solo exhibits; Schneider Museum, Ashland, Oregon, Suyama Space, Seattle, Washington, The Columbus Museum, Georgia., Saltworks Gallery, Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Nature Morte and Gallery Maskara India, Disjecta, Portland, Oregon, South by East Biennial in Boca Raton, Florida.

Her work has been reviewed in international publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, Art Papers, Art Lies, Art India, Art Asia Pacific, The Oregonian, and The Times of India.

In April 2004, she was part of a team that launched Drain – Journal for Contemporary Art and Culturewww.drainmag.com

In 2014, Avantika was appointed to the board of the Oregon Arts Commission. She is currently Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver, WA.