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Contemporary art

Asian art

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Woven Chronicle



Reena Saini Kallat


1973 -


Kallat states:

'….I've been thinking of creating a south-up oriented map, and what can be better than to create it for Australia. While south-up oriented world maps have been used as an educational tool to discuss and discard culturally biased perceptions, by altering our understanding through a shift in perspective, they can be traced back to the early 1900s, seen as a political statement reacting to the north-up oriented world maps that have dominated map publication (ref: the Australian, Stuart McArthur's Universal Corrective Map of the World from 1979).'

'Woven Chronicle' traces migratory movements worldwide, across sovereign nations and politically charged borders. The work presents routes historically taken by peoples including indentured labourers, settlers, contract workers, asylum seekers and refugees, as well as professionals traveling for their work. In spite of the many potential dangers, multitudes of people are constantly moving and intersecting across the globe. The wires Kallat uses to create her images are transmitters of ideas and energy; they symbolise connections. Alongside, the inclusion of barbed wire and fencing materials serves to interrogate inequities in the world and the barriers and obstacles that can prevent freedom. As borders shift, the colours and divisions articulated in Kallat’s 'Woven Chronicle' works also change. Speakers incorporated into the installation parallel the movement of people with the flow and pulse of data. They emit unsettling sounds, from high voltage electric impulses, the boom of deep sea drones, factory sirens, ship horns, communication tones and phone signals, to birds chirping.

Born in New Delhi in 1973, Reena Saini Kallat is one of India’s most significant contemporary artists. Her works have been exhibited internationally including at the Museum of Modern Art New York (MOMA); Manchester Museum; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Vancouver Art Gallery; Saatchi Gallery, London; Goteborgs Konsthall, Sweden; Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; Casa Asia, Madrid and Barcelona; ZKM Karlsruhe in Germany; Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney; Hangar Bicocca, Milan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; IVAM Museum, Spain; Busan MOMA; Kulturhuset, Stockholm; Kunsthaus Langenthal, Switzerland; and the Chicago Cultural Centre. Works of art by Kallat are also held in the collections of the Jindal Group, Mumbai and Vancouver Art Gallery.


Place where the work was made




Materials used

circuit boards, speakers, electrical wires and fittings, sound component


dimensions variable


Roger Pietri Fund and the Asian Collection Benefactors’ Fund 2018


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Reena Saini Kallat

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history