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Recently there has been a rethinking of the importance of migrant voices within British art history. First-generation British South Asian artists like Anwar Jalal Shemza and Rasheed Araeen have been included in museum exhibitions globally and art history books are being rewritten and rethought. These changes make it possible for new conversations to take place - a new dialogue for the 21st century around the legacy of South Asian migration and its impact on contemporary arts practitioners working in the UK today.

Using the National Gallery’s collection as a starting point for discussion, 'Shifting Ground' invited a number of key media artists to present their work exploring identity, cultural heritage and migration. We discussed how South Asian cultural heritage informs their artistic practice and how the use of new technologies enables them to work in innovative and groundbreaking ways. We considered the impact and legacy that South Asian migration has had on contemporary British culture and celebrated the rich and diverse voices within the media art scene.

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Speakers and contributors

  • Aphra Shemza | Curator and Co-Founder, Art in Flux and multidisciplinary artist working with light, abstraction and interactivity - this event featured the launch of
  • Prem Sahib | Artist working across disciplines from convictions regarding sexuality, intimacy, desire, and community
  • BISHI | Four-octave singer, electric sitarist, producer and composer and founder of WITCiH
  • Rehana Zaman | Artist working with moving image to examine how social dynamics are produced and performed
  • Stuart Faromarz Batchelor | Computer artist working between the boundaries of traditional media and software-based art
  • Hosted by Priyesh Mistry, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Projects, National Gallery; and, Olive Gingrich and Maria Almena, artists and curators, Art in Flux

What is National Gallery X?

National Gallery X (NGX) is a partnership between the National Gallery and King's College London. It brings together King's College London’s research with the art and audiences of the Gallery to create the new museum experiences technology could make possible in the future.

Find out more