Press release: 20 Jul 2009

NS Harsha: Nations


Iniva at Rivington Place presents
award winning artist NS Harsha

18 September - 21 November 2009

NS Harsha, Nations. Installation view Sharjah Biennial 2008 (detail)
Hand-painted flags, sewing machines. © the artist and Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

Iniva presents NS Harsha’s grand-scale installation Nations at Rivington Place, exhibited for the first time in the UK. Taking over the interior architecture, it questions international politics and globalisation with elegance and wit. 192 sewing machines are overlaid with calico painted flags signifying the countries that make up the United Nations.

NS Harsha has exhibited internationally, and works in a range of media including painting and installation. He combines details of cultural traditions in his native India with subjects in the news to reflect the shifting world. His work draws attention to the whimsical as well as to the tragic entanglement of life.

The 192 treadle sewing machines in Nations are connected by different coloured threads. The artist creates a vision of a world divided by flags and socio-cultural and economic lines. It raises issues of labour outsourcing, migration and the forces of global markets. The sewing machines are branded ‘Made in the People’s Republic of China’.

The use of cloth recalls the pivotal role of clothing in the national struggle for Independence of India. Mahatma Gandhi asked the Indian populace to eschew foreign clothes in order to boost the Indian clothing industry.

“There is immense anticipation to see NS Harsha’s Nations installation in this country, an artist who is better known for his paintings. He is an artist I have admired for many years for his understanding of humanitarian issues and ability to trigger unexpected responses from audiences.” Tessa Jackson, Interim Chief Executive

NS Harsha lives and works in Mysore, India. He was the recipient of the 3rd Artes Mundi Prize awarded in 2008 and worked with Iniva in 2000.

NS Harsha: New Works is showing at Victoria Miro Gallery from 10 October – 14 November 2009.

Notes to Editor

NS Harsha biography:
NS Harsha lives and works in Mysore, India. He studied for a BA in Painting at C.A.V.A, Mysore (1992) and Masters in Painting from Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda (1995). He has received the Karnataka State Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship (1993), Vasudey Amayaz Scholarship (1992-93), Dasara Fine Art Aware, Mysore (1992). He was Resident Artist ‘VAFA’ Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2001) and visiting artist, Shantou University. Cheung Kong School of Arts & Design, China (2005). He received the Sanskriti Award, Sankriti Pratishthan, New Delhi (2003). He was the recipient of the 3rd Artes Mundi Prize awarded in 2008 and worked with Iniva in the 2000.

Harsha's international exhibitions include the Sharjah Biennal 9 (2009); Indian Highway, Serpentine Gallery, London (2008); at Maison Hermès, Tokyo (2008) and in collaboration with Bodhi Art, he participated in the Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai (2007). Other exhibitions include: Painters Camp, Diu, organised by West Zone Cultural Centre, Rajasthan (1994); Young Baroda, Art Today Gallery, New Delhi (1995); Across-da-lapa, Rio, Brazil (1996); apt3, The Third Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane, Australia (1999); Drawing Space, Beaconsfield Gallery in association with Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK (2000); 2nd Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Fukuoka, Japan (2002); Crossing Generations: diverge, 40 years of Gallery Chemould, NGMA, Mumbai (2003); Another Passage to India, Ethnography Museum, Geneva, Switzerland (2004); The Asia Society, Queens Museum, New York, NGMA, Mubain (2004); Indian Summer, École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, France (2005); Belief, Singapore Biennale, Singapore (2006); Mirage, Kalaghoda Art Festival, Mubain (2007).

Further information is available at

Further press information

For high resolution images and further press information please contact:
Clare Roebuck       tel 020 7749 1247
Head of Communications

Listings Information

Venue: Rivington Place, London, EC2A 3BA
Exhibition: NS Harsha: Nations
Dates: 18 September – 31 October 2009
Public opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 11am – 6pm
Late Thursdays: 11am – 9pm (Last admission 8.30pm)
Saturday: 12noon – 6pm
Sunday, Monday: Closed
Admission: Free
Nearest tubes: Old Street & Liverpool Street
Rivington Place is fully accessible in all public areas
For parking & wheelchair facilities or further information
about Rivington Place +44 (0)20 7749 1240,,

About Iniva

Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) creates exhibitions, publications, multimedia, education and research projects designed to bring the work of artists from culturally-diverse backgrounds to the attention of the widest possible public. (

Iniva is supported by Arts Council England.

Opened in 2007, Rivington Place is Iniva and Autograph ABP's contemporary visual arts space and the UK's first permanent public space dedicated to culturally-diverse visual arts and photography. The building has been realised with thanks to funding from the Arts Council England Lottery Capital 2 Programme and Barclays, the Rivington Place founding Corporate Partner. Barclays £1.1m contribution is part of a much wider programme of community support.

The Rivington Place project also gives thanks to London Development Agency, City Fringe Partnership, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Hackney Council and The City Bridge Trust for their support as well as The Foyle Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation. Thanks also to Brodksy Centre and Clifford Chance for their in-kind support.

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