Remembering a Brave New World is a remarkable neon light installation from British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman. It can be seen on the front facade of the Tate Britain. Impossible to miss it is full of bright luminous colours. The installation was commissioned by the Tate to co-incide with the Diwali Festival of Light.
The artwork has taken much from the artists own British and Asian heritage. The bright lights in particular inspired by her childhood visits to Blackpool. The illuminations in that Northern seaside town being world famous. Born in Liverpool this would have been a regular trip in that part of the world.
Symbolism and Neon Lights
Symbolism fills the facade. A mixture of memory and history. Her past is blended with that of her mixed heritage and a feminist message. Finding itself an audience on the most iconic of institutions. A neon ice-cream van sits on the steps. This in particular remembers her own family’s business. The figure of Britannia meanwhile is transformed into Kali, the Hindu Goddess of Liberation and Power. She is joined by Lakshmibai, the Rani of Jhansi. A female warrior who fought as part of India’s resistance to British colonial rule.
Commissioned to co-incide with the Diwali Festival of Light. The work is, according to the Tate, “a celebration of new beginnings”. “The triumph of good over evil, light over dark. Remembering a Brave New World takes inspiration from the luminous struggles and victories of the past to offer hope for a brighter future”.
“I want people to think Wow is that really the Tate Britain” expained Chila Kumari Singh Burman when talking to the Art Newspaper. “My idea is to disrupt the Neoclassical façade and mash it all up. It’s my take on the world as it is, defacing and refacing and putting chaos into order”.
Remembering a Brave New World Gallery
Remembering a Brave New World is the Tate Britain’s Winter Commission. It will run from 14 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 and can be seen on the exterior facade of the building.