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Year 9 - Identity: Rina Banerjee

A guide to resources on identity in art, compiled by your librarians. Last updated December 2018.

Rina Banerjee

(Source of picture: Actuart)

Rina Banerjee, who was born in Calcutta in 1963 but moved to the UK and then New York, USA as a child.

She studied Polymer Engineering at university in the USA before becoming a Polymer Chemist at Pennsylvania State University.  She explained to a New York Times reporter in 2006 that she had followed this route into science because "I'm Indian, and that's what Indians do." But in the 1990s she abandoned science and began a career in Art.

She completed an MFA at Yale University School of Art in 1995, where she won a prestigious award for drawing. 

Find out more about Rina Banerjee

(Source of image: Cart An Art)

Rina Banerjee's Art

Rina Banerjee's Art

Examples of Rina Banerjee's Art work;

(Source of images:

More about Rina Banerjee


Rina Banerjee's experience growing up in cities in the UK and USA and within communities of mixed cultural and race has meant she has faced issues about her own identity. 

In a 2007 article by Yannis Tsitsovits in Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, she said:

"I don't know what Indian is, really; I know I am it." Further on in the same article, she stressed, "It's very important to be aware that you can never completely know a place you're not explicitly part of. I'm very aware of that because when I visit India it's very clear that I'm not part of it."

 (Source: Art India)

Her work incorporates heritage textiles, fashion, colonial objects and furnishings and historical architecture as she tries to play with their inherent meanings within her art work.

Often a fusion of cultures her work explores the role of culture, mythology, race, forces of migration and mobility.

Source: Art India