VIRSA: Sikh American Youth Project

VIRSA is a collaborative installation with Puget Sound Sikh American youth and the Wing Luke Asian Museum, for a traveling exhibition about Sikh American culture as part of a post 9-11 cultural awareness project. Over the course of two years of workshops, the youth engaged with Sikh elders to learn about Sikh history and culture, and discussed their own identity as Sikh Americans. They then created and painted symbolic designs expressing their culture onto installation elements. The installation references the design of the Harmandir Sahib, the highest Sikh temple in Amritsar, India, with portals opening on four sides to symbolize welcome to all.

The installation was designed as a traveling exhibition, with large informational panels about Sikh culture that formed a symbolic enclosure for the installation. The exhibition toured the Pacific Northwest. Mixed media installation: Acrylic on MDF, fluoroscent lightstrips, plexiglass, aluminum, dried rose petals, lentils, rice, spices, audio CD, CD player. Exhibition graphics: Dye-sublimation print on polyester, steel framework. Gudwara Singh Sabha of Washington, Renton, WA.

20' x 20' x 6'; Acrylic on MDF, fluorescent light strips, plexiglass, aluminum, dried rose petals, lentils, rice, spices, audio CD; dye sublimation prints