installation view at Nehru park, New Delhi

‘Cutting‬ chai’ the phrase originated in ‪Mumbai‬, when one cup of Chai was shared between more than one person. Hence the idea of dialogue, bonding, communication, community…. sharing…here it is as an installation …for me art derives from life and art is connected with living…but is this art? What is art? Who decides what is art? 997089_10153251934185625_5697166505762680070_n
The installation is made of metal servers traditionally called “Cheekka’ which are used to serve tea in rural areas. Chai being the common accomplice to any conversation in all strata holds a very recognizable space.
In fact while painting for me, it’s a medium between my painting and me. It helps me holding my conversation intact with my canvas and me. I have used teacups and the idea of tea as a means of introspection and even leading to final liberation. It holds and important dialogue between me and my inner, my outer, my social and my spiritual world.
Hence, the need for this installation.


1) The readymade material involves the whole idea of installation. That is the root of the concept, as when I saw it as a Diwali gift to be distributed I wanted to use it for my artwork. I feel already available new or used material connects the installation to the present and also to the common man.
2) Its rustic in material not in design. It’s rural in nature as its used by the common man from the lowest strata to the higher up. As the design of a “Cheeka” is extremely contemporary in utility. Without any complications it serves the purpose and has been around for almost a little less than a century, since the idea of “chai” and the “chai dukan” came about.

3) The artist in me came around as I feel that chai holds many conversations, dialogues and intimate spaces. It is a part of my working space and also I have paid an ode to it by making tea cups, tea glasses, kettles. They help me hold a conversation in my outer space with society, my inner space with my canvas and the most inner silent spaces while i interrogate and introspect with in. My most resent work for my collateral at Kochi Biennial as called “a storm in my tea cup”. I even Have a tree of liberation with teacups hanging instead of leaves. This work was done almost 8 years back. “Chai” is also the first thing with which we start our day, new beginnings, whichever class of strata we belong to.
“Cheeka” also implies that the person is not alone and with company.

Material: metal wire, glass, acrylic color and tea lights.

Seema Kohli’s art practice involves various disciplines from drawing, painting, sculptures, installations and performance. The most significant one to emerge is ‘Performance Art’. Decay, hybridization & transformation: Creating new identity; reshaping belongings; intimacy; a dialogue of matter and memory all these constitute the language of her work. “Time” as a factor, is central to her practice, whether it’s a wrapped object or a performance. She uses time as medium, which is extended, assembled and captured. The aspects of continuity, repetition, vulnerability, duration, temporality, awareness, situation and public involvement are also inherent qualities that inform her art practice. The process before and after the performance/installation is equally important and challenging.
Seema Kohli
February 2015

This idea belongs to the copyright of the artist and should not used in any form or permutation without the knowledge, consent and remuneration due to the 19292_10153086277627597_6985000632826499166_nartist.


India Art Fair 2015

Works by seema kohli



29th January – 1st February, 2015
Venue – India Art Fair 2015, NSIC Exhibition Grounds,
Okhla industrial Estate,
New Delhi.

Gallerie Navya Presents
“A Moment in time”The Golden Womb Reclaimed
Works by
Seema KohliBooth: E7
The Golden Womb Reclaimed
From ashes to womb to dust
Once upon a time, a long while ago, there was a womb.
A golden womb. The Hiranyagarbha.
From the Hiranyagrabha emerged the sun and the moon,
the planets and the stars, and a conscious universe was born.
The golden womb: from it emerged the five elements,
air , water, fire, earth and ether.
A universe that was neither male nor female. But as it took form, it led to the birth of Maya, or illusion.
  • Excerpts from “I AM” by Seema Kohli, 2012

Krishna Krishna Raas, 36 in x 60 in, Mixed media on canvas with 24 ct gold and silver leaf, 2014

In the ancient India scriptures of Yajur Veda, Hiranyagarbha or the Golden Womb is the primordial and eternal cosmic womb that nourishes, generates, and revives the cosmic order. Hiranyagarbha is that receptacle in which all the becoming takes place. As a space within a space, it encompasses the suns, moons, stars, and all universes, and also the five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether. The Hiranyabarbha pervades all creation as it transcends time and space by expanding and advancing infinitely in the cosmos.
I became interested in the concept of Hiranyagarbha about two decades ago; after visiting Haridwar and Rishikesh, where I saw cavities on the sand banks of the river Ganga, which were formed over the years as the river changed its course. They reminded me of a womb, and the quietude and solace that I found while sitting inside one of these cavities was extremely powerful. After my mother passed away, I began to think more about the source of life and its course, and thus began my quest in knowing the concept of Hiranyagarbha.

low res 1216, 24x24 inches, 2015 low, 1204, 24x24 inches, 2015 low, 1205, 24x24 inches, 2015Through my works I seek to understand the organic and continuously evolving processes of all beings and matter. For over twenty-six years, I have been interested in showing the state of flux of the body and mind using various mediums and materials. For the first time, I have put to use circular canvases to depict the golden womb.

My family hails from Greater Punjab, currently located in Pakistan and after the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, they had to migrate to Delhi, India. The tales that my family narrated about their displacement and their journey, in search of a new home and life is a deeply embedded memory in my mindscape that stokes my imagination of space and existence. To understand my own personal voyage, I often reflect upon the travel undertaken by my family and the adverse conditions they had faced as they crossed national, religious, and sectarian borders. Thus, my creative practice in many ways can be viewed as an exploration of the static and dynamic and internal and external forces that influence our lives.

Seema Kohli
IAF 2015

24x24 in, 1230

Kasturi, 24x24in diameter, mix media on canvas with 24kt gold and silver, 2015

1219, 10x12 inches, mix media on canvas, fiber glass, 2015 ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????? 1225, 10x12 inches, mix media on canvas, fiber glass, 2015 ??????????????????????????????? 1231, 10x12 inches, mix media on canvas, fiber glass, 2015 ???????????????????????????????

10x12x4 inches, mix media on canvas with 24kt gold and silver leaf, fiberglass, plywood, 2015

1217, 48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 a 1217, 48x36x36,mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 d 1217, 48x36x36,mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 e1217, 48x36x36,mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 f

 Juneja Art Gallery Presents


Works by
Seema Kohli

Booth: F6


It is only when we understand Maya’s “khel” that we can aspire for the union of our inner force with that of the outer, which we call Universal Truth or Para Brahman.

Whenever I look around at the plants in the pots in my balcony, the trees in the gardens or forests and the birds in the sky, the table I work on, the paints in the jars with which I paint, the sink in which I wash the dishes, the clothes that I wear, even the food that I eat, the apple that I bite, my pet dog – Fido, my relatives, the mosquitoes that I squash as a reflex action when it descends on me, each one has its own journey defined by its own “kriya” or actions; thus marking its own cycle of rejuvenation.

1218, Detail, 48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 c 1218,48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 b 1218,48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 E

1218,48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015a

For, I firmly believe that there is no such thing as death, only a cycle of creation and destruction, birth and rebirth. The “TriGuna” came about as my invocation of these basic energies that are responsible for creation and destruction and creation yet again.


Am I a Myth or reality?
Today’s reality is tomorrow’s myth…
Tomorrow’s myth is yesterday’s reality…
I weave a web of illusion,
I entice, create desires…
Am I,
Terrible, a destroyer, a slayer?
Of all that entangles into my web.
Licking the root of their desires,
Vanquishing it,
Bestowing freedom to all who dare to play with me
I am Maya
The fire within is without
I am the creator and the destroyer
Play with me

Seema Kohli

I believe that to explain the manifestation from one to many, of forms, names and a calendar of time within which each was created can be attributed to an evocation of these energies. It is my personal belief that from the mythological form of Ardhanareshwar, when Parvati disengaged from Shiva, Shakti gained form and started manifesting as many…or this world.

From Shakti arose the Saptmatrikas, the Astlakshmis, the Navdurgas, and the Dasmahavidyas. In time, the manifestations resulted in the creation of the Chausath Yogini and the Ekyasi Yogini, forms that continue to evolve to satisfy our needs or to bring balance to the world. This is, of course, my personal belief, not something you will find in a book or rendered in a philosophy, but it appeals to me just as much as the many versions of Shakti that exist. I share in those versions and am fascinated by their interpretations and manifestations too.
1219, 48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 e 1219, 48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 c 1219, 48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 b 1219, 48x36x36, mix media on canvas, plywood, fiberglass, 2015 a

For we think back through our mothers if we are women
– Virginia Woolf

These manifestations inspire me to attempt to analyze the world I see around me, especially as a woman who must make sense, daily, of injustices in the world. To comprehend why we continue to look away
when prejudice occurs, when sensitivities are overlooked, or when negative forces are invoked. I want to, therefore, to look inwards to evoke the energy that is manifest in each one of us, to apply the healing salve of motherhood to a world that needs it. For that energy resides in each one of us, women and men, and it is that we must manifest.
I look within the womb to discover, that which is outside. I want to awaken my senses to experience the goddess’s gift of what nature bestows on us – not just of life but of the sun that shines and the rain that rejuvenates, of the heat and cold and all things that bring to life that which is around us.

I believe in that energy and it is that I present in this installations and video performance.

– Seema Kohli
December 2012
(The explanation is purely the interpretation of the artist and may not comply with the various scriptural interpretations by lk       



art heritage


‘Chausat Yogini’
Works By
Seema Kohli

Collateral Exhibition With India Art Fair 2015
29th January – 1st February, 2015

Venue – Art Heritage I, Basement, Triveni Kala Sangam,
205, Tansen Marg, New Delhi

RSVP- Tel-+91-11-23719470, 981869193

HI-RES, chaust yogini with black frame, 13 feet wide X 8 feet height, each print 13 inches with frameI believe that there first existed a womb through which everything came
to be created, which I call the golden womb or the ‘Hiranyagarbha’. This golden
womb,  this  one  energy  or  ‘shakti’  later  disintegrated  into  three.  These  three
new shaktis came  to  be  known  by  the  names  Durga,  Laxmi  and  Saraswati.

These names that have been

1184, 5x5 inches, 2014

Chaust yogini( Detail)

1181, 5x5 inches, 2014

Chaust yogini( Detail)

conferred upon these shaktis might be mythical in
nature but the purpose of the existence of these shaktis is not mythical.
I believe that every idea or concept has to be contained in a time, space
and  by  a  name;  so  I  have  tried  to  use  the  same  names  that  have  traditionally
been  used for these shaktis. Now these three shaktis further disintegrated into  7,
then 15, 21, 42, 64, 81 and so on; thus these energies constantly  kept increasing.
These  then  moved  into  different  spaces  and  led  to  the  creation  of  different
things  and  being. And  I  feel these  energies  are  still  further disintegrating  and
developing into many forms, of which we are not yet aware.
Thus  we  can  never  be  sure  how  many  forms  of  this  ever expanding
energy, and by energies I am  referring  to the  Yoginis,  actually exist in a given
time and space.
Here,  I  am  presenting,  along  with Art  Heritage  Gallery,  a  showcase  of
“Chausath Yogini”; 64 etchings on zinc plate, which are all separately framed in
glass, occupying a wall space of 156” x 104”. The size of each work without
frame is 8” x 10”.
Copyright © *|2014-15|* *|seemakohli|*, All rights reserved.
*|IAF 2015|*

1174, 5x5 inches, 2014

Chaust yogini( Detail)

Continue Reading

Dots,Lines and Some Chai

The thought of creating a blog has been on my mind for the longest time.To share not only my works with you guys but the thought and the concept behind them,to show  not only the finished artwork but also the process that is often missed.

The mystery of colour has always fascinated me.A dot expanding into a line ,taking shape on its own and assuming a movement in your imagination is so intriguing!Drawing has always been my first love,my  unrivaled passion.But I feel confident now to make transition from paper,canvas,sculpture to using my own body as a primary means of expression.Through my blog I want to introduce you to my latest works,project,travels and thought experiments.I have waited for this so long.

And finally it’s here!

So,here’s giving you a peek into the life and works of an artist.I hope you enjoy reading it!