New Delhi: After Bangladeshi artist Tayeba Begum Lipi interviewed a transgender for her project, she was burdened by the enormous guilt of living a comfortable life unlike her muse, who was abused several times in her early years.
She then decided to take a cue from her interview and present a parallel picture of her own life in an exhibition.
“Reversal Reality” is the 46-year-old’s first solo show in the capital and will begin Jan 21 at the Shrine Empire gallery here.
An engaging short video would chronicle Anonya the transgender’s life journey and the hurdles she had to overcome to be comfortable in her own skin.
And it was while listening to her journey that Lipi realised the importance of her comfortable childhood.
“I felt guilty for my own life, my own childhood. I admit that this exhibition came from the guilt of not knowing them or understanding their pain,” Lipi told IANS in an interview.
“But I feel better now. I have become friends with her and other transgenders who often come to my house,” she added.
The show documents the artist’s meeting with Anonya and her exposure to the odds of society. The show reflects not just this constant comparison of two different
childhoods but also of the loneliness and rejection faced by a transgender.
“The main problem is that these people are not even recognised as human beings by us. They are treated extremely badly and we often don’t pay attention to such things when we are busy in our everyday life,” said Lipi who is the co-founder of Britto’s Art Trust in Dhaka.
Apart from the video, Lipi had picked an old bag and a shoe from Anonya’s collection to make a mould of it and then give it a structure with golden safety pins. The idea was to recreate memories and evoke emotions of the growing up years.
“When I asked her if she could share any personal object from her childhood for this exhibition she did not have any. She left her home early because she was a ‘hijra’
and hence moved from one place to another,” Lipi said.
“But then I found out that she loved bags and shoes so I used these objects to recreate those memories,” she added.
Also to be displayed at the exhibition, which will conclude, will be some photographs of Anonya’s childhood, an audio tape and two caskets representing death.