Date: September 3 • 2021
End date: October 20 • 2021
September 10 • 7 pm to 9 pm • 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam
Growing up with Sikh heritage in my family and community, I observed countless dastaars, also referred to as turbans, pagaries and damallay. I am intrigued by the variety of styles of dastaars making them as unique as the wearer.
To me, dastaars are a sign of sovereignty in Sikh tradition. Once worn only by kings and upper classmen, Sikh Gurus and followers began wearing dastaars as part of a movement to show people that they too could be sovereigns. In their fight for equal rights for all, Sikh Gurus and their followers were elevated.
As a civil engineer, I am accustomed to visualizing much of the built environment through a variety of perspectives and recognizing objects through their construction in three distinct perspectives: front, rear and side view. Elevation drawings are often used in engineering and they are elegant in their simplicity and useful tools for visualization.
In my drawings, the illusion of the individual wearing the dastaar is still present even though they are not represented in a traditional sense. Often, dastaars are seen as accessories, hats or headdresses to be worn on special occasions. However, I believe they are part of the person and an important component of their identity. These drawings celebrate individual style, explore identity and provide an alternative to traditional portraits. I invite you to consider and reflect upon the portraits presented here.