I Sarah Vajira Lindströms utstilling Peaches and Cream er det huden som utforskes. Hennes utgangspunkt er hvordan hudfarger håndteres i mote- og skjønnhetsindustrien.
Peaches and cream, nyponrosig eller English rose er noen av uttrykkene som blir brukt for å beskrive hvordan den ideale huden skal se ut i Vesten. I Asia er en litt mer direkte: I Kina er det white milk som gjelder, innen K-Beauty (Sør-Korea) snakker en om glass skin og i J-Beauty (Japan) er det nyeste mochi-hada. En hud som er hvit, myk og «bouncy» som en riskake. Med erfaring av å selv ha en mørk hudfarge og samtidig være en pasjonert hudpleie-nerd opplever Lindström i blant problematiske situasjoner, det foregår en generell ekskludering av mørk hud i skjønnhetsbransjen der kosmetikkmerkene tilbyr et sortiment bestående av 50 nyanser av beige og i beste fall tre mørkere nyanser.
Sentralt i utstillingen henger en serie av silkestoffer som kan minne om hud. Her fremstilles huden som en barriere og beskyttelse, men også som noe skjørt og transparent med spor etter levd liv. Pigmentene som er brukt til å farge inn de ulike typene av silkestoff har en tilknytning til kunstnerens eget hverdagsliv gjennom maten hun spiser, en rekke matvarer hvor de fleste topper lister over ingredienser som påstås gjøre underverk for din hud. I utstillingen presenteres et utvalg av innfargingsvæsker med disse fargepigmentene som Lindström har utvunnet fra mat. Alle arbeider er nyproduserte for utstillingen på KRAFT.
Sarah Vajira Lindström (f.1981, Sri Lanka) bor og arbeider i Oslo. Lindström er utdannet i London ved Royal College of Art (2010-2012 MA Textiles) og Central Saint Martins (2006-2009 BA Textiles).
Foto: Hans Martin Osnes Aambø
SARAH VAJIRA LINDSTRÖM
PEACHES AND CREAM
Peaches and Cream, fair or English Rose are some of the characteristics used to describe the ideal skin-tone favoured in the West. In Asia, one is more direct. In China, white milk is the favourite, within K-beauty (South Korea) one talks about Glass Skin and in J-Beauty (Japan) the newest skin trend is Mochi-hada; white, soft and “bouncy“ like a rice-cake. In Sarah Vajira Lindström’s exhibition Peaches and Cream at KRAFT, the body or more specific, the skin is being explored.
Her basic idea is how different skin-colour is used within the fashion and cosmetics-industry. Having experienced this herself having a dark skin-tone and being a dedicated beautician-nerd, at times unwelcomed situations occur. An overall lack of darker colours in the beauty-industry becomes quite obvious. Cosmetic brands offer an assortment containing 50 shades of beige and at the best of times, three darker nuances. Most of the products are labelled as “suitable for all skin-tones“ even if it is obvious they do not. Some products contain ingredients which are not suitable for darker skin and in some cases can be harmful. The term Nude is frequently used in the fashion world to describe nude-colour textiles and it all simmers down to a peach-coloured nuance used to describe dresses, undergarments and panty-hoses meant to look like skin exclusively for those who have that exact skin-tone. Colour-chart producer Pantone labels a beige-pink colour Nude (12-0911 TPX) in its chart for cotton fabrics, hereby defining Nude as an exact colour.
As the main focus in her exhibition is a series of silk material reminding us of skin.The skin is presented as a barrier and protection, but also as something fragile and transparent. Lindström has used different pleating techniques to form a cleavage, wrinkles and extra fat. Sutur needles are used to hold up and to tighten skin; an indication of how our skin can be corrected and fixed, even grown and produced. References to surgery and a medical environment makes the nude-coloured textiles in actual body size to be perceived as something both familiar and strange. The pigments used to colour these different types of silk refers to the artists everyday life. She has studied pigments extracted from eatable greens and her own food including throwaways like the peel of red onions, walnuts and almonds; pip of avocado or apricot, and water from soaked black beans, are all used in her work. Consequently a pragmatic interpretation of : Der Mench ist was er ißt ( Feuerbach, 1893 ) or : You are what you eat.
In the work “Matter of Colour“ she presents a selection of colouring-liquids which she has extracted. The pigments originates from a variety of food products believed to be performing miracles on your skin. The colouring-liquids are exhibited in a set of reagent tubes – classified according to the colour denomination of the liquid. The installations indicates laboratory environment or a beauty-product counter where bottles of foundation is presented in a line up according to colour. It can also be associated with the study of classifying skin-tones. Carl von Linne studies of classifying nature also included people, among other things, people’s colour.Felix von Luschan developed the VLS ( von Luschan’s scale ) which classifies skin tones in 36 different nuances, in the late 1800’s. Pantone recently developed a series of skin-tones covering 110 nuances or “shades of humanity“ as they call it. With the title Peaches and Cream, Lindström plays with the term, not only describing the ideal skin; fair, soft and creamy with a pink nuance – she also points to a problem of free existence and perceptions of utopia. In addition, it is a traditional and sweet dessert.
Sarah Vajira Lindström ( born 1981 in Sri Lanka ) resides and works in Oslo. Educated in London at The Royal College of Art (2010-2012 MA in textiles) and Central Saint Martins (2006-2009 BA in textiles). Lindström held her first solo exhibition at The SOFT Gallery in Oslo in 2015. Continued by participating in group exhibitions, Akershus Art Center, Gallery norske grafikere, The Spring Salon, Liljevalchs Arthall in Stockholm. In 2018 she participated in the annual exhibition for Norwegian kunsthåndverkere and the Spring exhibition in Arthall Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, where she was nominated for the Solo-price. By participating at the Østlandsutstilling in 2016, she was awarded a price for the most important work. She has received the Norwegian state scholarship for artists every year since 2014.