'Sit Properly': Attend A Delhi Exhibition Deconstructing Gendered Behavior Through Art

Indian artist Jasjyot Singh Hans challenges the societal expectations imposed on individuals based on their gender identity.
Indian artist Jasjyot Singh Hans challenges the societal expectations imposed on individuals based on their gender identity.Pulp Society

In contemporary society, behaviours are often implicitly categorised and regulated based on gender norms. From childhood, individuals are socialised into specific patterns of behaviour deemed appropriate for their gender, perpetuating a binary understanding of how individuals should act and present themselves. This adherence to gendered behaviour manifests in various aspects of life, including art and culture.

Jasjyot Singh Hans, an illustrator known for his exploration of themes like body image, sexuality, and self-love, delves into the complex realm of gendered behaviour in his latest show titled 'Sit Properly'. Through his vibrant and evocative wor of art, Hans challenges the societal expectations imposed on individuals based on their gender identity.

The title itself, 'Sit Properly', alludes to the subtle yet pervasive ways in which gender norms dictate individuals' behaviour. From a young age, girls are often instructed to "sit properly", reinforcing notions of femininity associated with poise, restraint, and modesty. This phrase encapsulates the larger narrative of how gendered behaviour is policed and enforced.

Hans' exhibition introduces a novel concept of a dynamic show with graded pricing, which adds an interactive dimension to the viewing experience. Half of the artworks are created live at the gallery, with Hans engaging in drawing sessions on designated 'Double Drawing Days'. This not only allows audiences to witness the artistic process firsthand but also breaks down the traditional barriers between artist and viewer, fostering a sense of connection and dialogue.

Moreover, the graded pricing system reflects the evolving nature of the artworks throughout their creation. The pricing fluctuates before, during, and after completion, offering collectors an opportunity to acquire pieces at varying price points based on their level of trust in Hans' practice. This innovative approach not only challenges conventional methods of art sales but also invites reflection on the value assigned to creative labour and artistic authenticity.

At the core of 'Sit Properly' lies a profound critique of gendered norms of 'good behaviour' and body language. Hans' work interrogates the societal expectations placed on women and queer individuals to conform to prescribed modes of conduct, often at the expense of their autonomy and self-expression. By subverting these norms through art, he seeks to dismantle the rigid binaries that restrict individual freedom and agency.

Through his distinctive visual language, Hans invites viewers to reconsider their perceptions of gender and identity, prompting critical engagement with the societal constructs that shape our behavior and self-image. 'Sit Properly' serves as a poignant reminder of the power of art to challenge, provoke, and ultimately, inspire change in our understanding of gendered behavior and its impact on society.

Jasjyot Singh Hans' exhibition offers a thought-provoking exploration of gendered behaviour through the lens of contemporary art. By interrogating societal norms and expectations, Hans challenges viewers to reflect on their own experiences and perceptions of gender, fostering dialogue and awareness concerning issues of identity, agency, and social justice. Through his dynamic and innovative approach, he reaffirms the transformative potential of art in challenging and reshaping the world around us.

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