Harminder Singh Judge
23 July 2010 to 11 September 2010
“I always keep one eye on my personal history as a British born Sikh who loves rock music and Red Dwarf whilst also being genuinely fascinated and moved by the epic stories of religious history. I would site religious symbolism, mass conversion and the rituals of cults among my many influences, as well as Madonna, Coca-Cola & Jesus.’’
Harminder Singh Judge describes himself as an artist trapped in a perpetual love triangle with religion, art and pop culture. Over the last four years Judge has developed an interdisciplinary practice obsessed with romanticised fables within religious history, exploring the enduring appeal of spirituality within our postmodern and largely secular society. His work is an intersection between Eastern religious mythologies, the British colonial system and Western contemporary culture, which are steeped in pop/kitsch aesthetics. He challenges romantic ideas of eastern culture and spirituality through performing and redefining rituals and stories to reveal and propose possible contemporary interpretations that fuse these traditions with contemporary western culture.
Symbolism, prayer and ritual are constantly reworked and redefined by different cultures and generations into new expressions often explicitly different from the original story or belief. Singh Judge’s work references these connections, the ways in which they have been interpreted, reinterpreted or how they have been completely changed so there is little trace of the connections. Cleverly he finds links and connections between the mythologies of the east and the popular culture of the west and creates imagery that refers to the performativity of these actions. The excitement of working with Judge comes from the anticipation of the final product, which may or may not resemble anything like all the previous conversations, but lies in the confidence he will produce an excellent thought provoking show.
For the Inconsistency of Everything commissioned by the New Art Exchange and 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, Judge has created new sculptural and wall-based work that locates its starting point in religious mythology merged with pop culture and marketing gimmicks.
Judge has created and shown work for Art, Lifestyle & Globalisation, Tate Modern London, Arnolfini Bristol, the European Performance Art Festival at Centre for Contemporary Arts Poland, Ikon Gallery Birmingham and the National Review of Live Art at Tramway Glasgow. Harminder Singh Judge was born in Yorkshire in 1982. He studied Fine Art in Newcastle and is currently based in Birmingham.