My Daughter's Cot II

Most of my works are related to very personal issues of human life. I always like to play with contradictions as I think our life is full of absurdity.

The COT is only a cold empty space to me. I see, and at the same time do not see, the nightmare of the bloody hours and months it took for me to make this piece.

I am from a large family. I'm the 11th of 12 children. I was born in the northern part of Bangladesh in a very small town called Gaibandha. I watched my nephews and nieces grow up next to me. Those days women gave birth at home with the help of a village woman. The only tool to support the delivery was a new sharp razor blade that had to be boiled on a stove before the baby was born. Perhaps this memory from my childhood stuck in my head.

I love to use various materials in my art work. In the beginning, I might have been influenced by other artists who used real razor blades. But in the end, when I decided to create an object with the same material, I decided to fabricate the razor blades in stainless steel, which gave my work another dimension. (In conversation with the artist, February 2013)

Since graduating from the Institute of Fine Art, University of Dhaka, Lipi has participated in several international biennales, residencies and exhibitions. In 2011, she was one of five artists chosen to represent Bangladesh in the country's first pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In 2012, she was a leading artist featured in the inaugural Dhaka Art Summit. She has participated in residencies with Partage, Mauritius (2010); RM Studio, Lahore (2008); Gasworks, London (2005); National Workshops for Arts and Crafts, Copenhagen (2004); The Irish Museum of Modern Art (2000); Gallery 68-Elf, Cologne (2000) and The Arts Council of Central Finland, Jyvaskyla (2000). She has exhibited in New York, Ontario, London, Copenhagan, Jyvaskyla and Nagoya, among other cities.

Through her work, Lipi explores the feminist issues of marginality and representation of the female body. My Daughter's Cot II is an autobiographical and deeply poetic work made of razor blades. From a distance, the cot looks beautiful and majestic. Gleaming like smooth stainless steel against the light the viewer imagines an exquisite cot built for a highly doted upon and beloved child. On closer examination, the viewer realizes that the work is made of blades and suddenly the cot takes on a potentially threatening aura. The fact that the blades are not sharpened adds a third dimensionality between reality, awareness and perception.

Lipi is currently featured in the traveling exhibition No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (February - May 2013), Singapore and Hong Kong. Furthermore, her work has recently been acquired by the Guggenheim for their permanent collection.

About Tayeba Begum Lipi