Neon Drawings by Chila Kumari Singh Burman


British-Indian artist Dr. Chila Kumari Singh Burman, MBE will activate the façade and lobby of the Williams Center for the Arts with her neon drawings. Known for her fantastical and glitzy sculptures of ice cream cones based on Bollywood aesthetics, Burman brings her signature style to Lafayette College with neon ice cream cones, hearts, bindis, red lips, dragons, and a new commission of a neon leopard.

neon drawings by Chila Burman

Neon drawings by Chila Burman featuring an eye, Truth, Dream, peacock, ice cream

Confection and Confrontation: Works by Chila Kumari Singh Burman


Showing two distinctly varied bodies of work, Chila Burman exhibits neon works on the façade of the Williams Center for the Arts, and her self-portrait prints at Grossman Gallery. Burman will be the artist-in-residence for the Experimental Printmaking Institute (Lafayette College) for the Fall of 2023, creating a new print with Lafayette students.

Confection and Confrontation explores a strategy that Burman has employed in much of her work, that of using seductive colorful imagery while addressing identity issues she faced as a South Asian and female artist in the United Kingdom. Her neon works come from her childhood memories of her Punjabi father selling ice cream and popsicles out of an ice cream truck. The prints shown in this exhibition span years of creating images based on her self-portraits. The early works are definitive of her confrontational style as she gazes back at the viewers defiantly.

self-portrait by Chila Burman

Self-portrait by Chila Burman in digital print

About Chila Kumari Singh Burman, MBE, PhD(Hon).
Brought up in Liverpool and educated at the Slade School of Art in London, Chila Kumari Burman has worked experimentally across printmaking, painting, sculpture, photography and film since the mid-1980s. She draws on fine and pop art imagery in intricate multi-layered works which explore Asian femininity and her personal family history, and where Bollywood bling merges with childhood memories.