stainless steel tiffin boxes, armature, CD ROM
height ca. 500 cm (ca. 16 3/8 ft.)
Subodh Gupta is one of the most important and influential Indian artists of his generation. His works, mostly space-consuming sculptures and installations, mainly deal with intercultural themes of his homeland and its history, yet of course on a contemporary level, which is why he belongs to the category of Postcolonial Art. "OK Mili" is a very typical example. Gupta has assembled more than 400 so-called "tiffin boxes", or "dabba" in Indian, bread boxes made of stainless steel, like a gigantic bunch of grapes to form a structure about five meters high. This is already fascinating in its sheer material presence and unusual appearance. Behind it is a processing of the colonial history of India, as well as of the artist's very personal childhood history. "OK Mili" is a parable of mutual cultural transformation, in which Gupta processes his own childhood memories, while at the same time providing an effective commentary on post-colonial globalisation and cultural mixing. The sheer mass of uniform, shiny steel boxes, sends a positive as well as a warning message. On the one hand, the levelling of differences and cultural distances between formerly unequal peoples, on the other, the loss of cultural identity and the facelessness of the masses.