Curated by Burnt Roti magazine, ‘The Beauty of Being British Asian Exhibition’, or #BOBBAExhibition showcased South Asian art and was on show from 16th – 22nd August 2017 at the Old Truman Brewery. I went to the opening night on 16th August and was amazed to see a 2 hour queue, winding round the corners of Brick Lane!
Each of the artists created a piece from their chosen line of my essay and together, formed The Beauty of Being British Asian exhibition.
Walking in, I was immediately struck by the nostalgic scent of incense. As I looked around, it was magical to see the words that I had written a couple of months ago, come to life through the talent of other British Asians like myself. This experience of having a dual identity is something that so many of us share and seeing it through the eyes of others was something that made me feel even prouder to be British Asian.
Seeing people gather round to read my essay was the highlight of the evening for me. It was so lovely to see people’s reactions as they related to, laughed with and even welled up at lines of my essay. I loved speaking with people as they shared their own stories of being British Asian and hearing how they have learnt to navigate and embrace their dual identities.
The exhibition included a wall of baby photos of the artists and I, adding to to the British Asian aesthetic of the gallery. This one above is of me as a corner shop kid when cardboard boxes were pretty much all my parents needed to keep me entertained.
Thank you to everyone that supported the crowdfunder, came along to the gallery (and queued for 2 hours on opening night), and took the time to message me your words of support.
It means the world to me to know that the message of my essay has become a beautiful celebration of British Asian talent. When I sat down to write the essay back in March, I had no idea it would become this incredible expression of British Asian representation – I simply wanted to share more sides of the real me on my blog. I’m so happy that the conversation surrounding the struggles, nuances and the beauty of being British Asian has only just begun!
I’d love to hear your own stories of being British Asian and navigating your dual identities – let me know below if you can relate to The Beauty of Being British Asian.