Mrudhubhashini Vijayakumar is an Indian artist born in the Philippines and raised in India, Indonesia and Australia. after completing a BFA at the School of the Art Institute Chicago she is now a first year candidate of the MFA program at the School of the Museum of Arts at Tufts University. Mrudhubahshini's art practice generally works around the themes of womanhood and what that entails within Indian history both past and present. through conversations with family and others she works on depicting and creating conversation through storytelling, the injustices that women in India face in today's time. experimentations with materials is a vital part of her practice and now her work is a combination of painting, sculpture and print.
Why was i always asked to wear a braid in school ?
Why did i always get into trouble for having my hair open in school ?
Just because my hair was not oiled and braided i was wild ?
curious as to why these questions were always a part of my life and the lives of many others in India, my research explorations took to me to a place that talked about how the woman's emotions are essentially weaker and more susceptible to spiritual manipulation. these spirits can enter the woman's head through open hair and mess with their emotions by making them volatile. these emotions can eventually lead to promiscuity and bring shame upon her husband and the family. seeing as this was some of the biggest bullshit I had ever heard I asked women in India if they knew why they religiously follow this practice. Nobody so far has told me that they were aware of the reasoning behind the braid and simply told me that it was was what they were expected to do to be proper women in society. this got me thinking about the oppressive treatment of women in India and how their lack of knowledge about what is happening to them is like they are in a prison of their own ignorance. there is rarely anyone questioning these absurd rules and justifications that have been imposed on us.
Why is our proper dictated by others ?