My parents migrated to England before I was born. Like many people from the subcontinent they tried to maintain as much familiarity with where they had come from as they made their home in an alien, sometimes harsh and inhospitable environment. Gujarati was my dominant language for much of my childhood. I also learnt to read, write and speak Urdu alongside English. Neither of the three languages is foreign to me.
We communicate across language, mingling words and phrases to convey meaning. My objective is to communicate and this relies on an empathetic understanding of who I am communicating with and how we can best share meaning. I separate the linguistic mingling I grew up with into English, Urdu and Gujarati although this isn’t the way I learnt to speak and be understood.
Human: Insan(e) ઇન્સાન إنسان is the outcome of conversations between Hossein Valamanesh and Yusuf Ali Hayat, supported by Nexus Arts. It questions ideas of (cultural) translation, emplacement and hospitality.
Hayat’s research based practice is focused on transcultural ethics and intersubjectivity in art. His recent work integrates photography, painting and architectural approaches to sculptural form.
16 November – 21st December, 2018
Image: Yusuf Hayat, Emplacement 1, Acrylic on polyester, 180 x 220 cm, 2018