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An Artist Compiled 'Sexperiences' of Indian Women and is Turning them Into Art

'My work hangs with Picasso and Edvard Munch' said Indu Harikumar, who rose to fame after her #100IndianTinderTales.

Rakhi Bose | News18.com@theotherbose

Updated:November 6, 2018, 11:17 AM IST
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An Artist Compiled 'Sexperiences' of Indian Women and is Turning them Into Art
'My work hangs with Picasso and Edvard Munch' said Indu Harikumar, who rose to fame after her #100IndianTinderTales.
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Remember the artist who created #100IndianTinderTales in 2016? After the successful illustrated series which attracted widespread audiences and adoration, artist Indu Harikumar is back with a new project that has the potential to go even more viral than her last one.

The artist, who stufied art residency program in Vienna, is now working on a new series called #TheIndianSexperience. Much like her previous Tinder project, this one also involves the stories of Indian women and their encounters with, and understanding of, sex and sexuality.

"I realise that in India, sex is a repressed, often taboo subject, especially for women. But women often have a lot to say about sex," Indu said. The 37-year-old artist runs a page on Instagram called 'Induviduality', which is also the name of her Facebook page. These are the primary platforms for her to collect and document the accounts of various women and ultimately to display her art.

Though Indu has not managed to illustrate all the experiences that have been shared with her yet, she has already begun the work.







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Over the past few months we have shared our experiences to questions I have put on my Insta stories. I have been telling you guys that I will put it together as a project but it has been a bit overwhelming to start. So I am starting the #TheIndianSexperience as an #inktober project. Starting with answers to "How / When did you first hear about sex?" I don't know what all this project will include, so we will figure as we keep going, okay?  For #inktober, I am drawing on newspapers. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for your support and for sharing your stories. Now quickly go press heart and don't forget to share with your friends. 💕💕💕 . . Contributor: @raju_tai . "Bullies at school to me and friend: woh dum hai na dum, woh mar gaya? Us together: Kaun-dum? Bullies: *laugh and run away* That's how I got to know about condoms, had heard the word in AIDS PSAs. Came home to dictionary, one word led to another and bam! I knew all about sex in two hours. That it took me several years to believe it as truth is a separate story anyway." #TheIndianSexperience  #31daysofIndianSexperiences #inktober #Induviduality #crowdsourced #artist #art #India #stories #inktober2018 #inktoberday1 #indian #illustrator #womenwhodraw #mixedmedia #handmade #drawing #dailydrawing #sharingisgrowing #storyteller #artistsoninstagram


A post shared by Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on












 



 



 



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Day 2 of  #TheIndianSexperience as an #inktober project. I spent all day on this one and I am not sure what I think but I am putting it here. . . @wanderblah's answer to "How / When did you first hear about sex?" . . . . "When I was about 10, friend's elder sister had sex-ed class at school. After much consulting between the sisters (both were older by several years, the elder one made a circle with one hand and very mysteriously asked me if I knew what that was. And then proceeded to show me  what the finger from the other hand does, and how babies are made. i found it too mechanical and couldn't understand why she was being so mysterious about such a functional thing. A few years after we had sex  education class in school, and I told my mum about  it when i got back from school. i remember my mum rinsing vessels in the kitchen at the time, and her punctuating contribution to the conversation then was, "just don't come home with babies, before marriage." hahaha" . . #TheIndianSexperience #31daysofIndianSexperiences #inktober #Induviduality #crowdsourced #artist #art#India #stories #inktober2018 #inktoberday2 #indian #illustrator #womenwhodraw#mixedmedia #handmade #drawing #dailydrawing #sharingisgrowing #storyteller #artistsoninstagram #dailyart A post shared by Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on




To gather these sexperiences, Indu asks questions on her social media accounts and seeks out the best responses from the ones that she receives.

"It is one thing to write your own story. You are in control. But when the story belongs to someone else, an artist has to be honest and must follow certain codes. You can't meddle with another person's story and thus the tellers need to trust you," Indu said, adding that her job was only to illustrate the incident the best way she could. The idea is not to reproduce a journalistic sketch of the incident but rather the emotions that it evokes.

"Some of the experiences that women recounted were disturbing and needed sensitive handling. In such situations, I sometimes feel at a loss of what to say to them and therefore I try to let my art do the talking," Indu said, recalling the tale of a young girl's first experience of sexual abuse.






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Trigger warning: #CSA Day 5 of #TheIndianSexperience as an #inktober2018 project. Contributor: Anon . . "I was sexually abused as a child and that's how I got to know about sex. I don't remember my age then or the year precisely,  must have been in first or second standard. I just knew it was some sort of an adult thing. He made me watch porn  and stuff. It was painful and I would refuse, but he used to make up stories and talk me into it. My parents never got to know about it because I've always been a quiet child and didn't share much of whatever happened throughout the day. The guy told me to keep it a secret, I was pretty good at it. My mum once asked me if someone touched me in my private area, she told me I could confide in her but I said nothing about it. He realised what he was doing was wrong and stopped after sometime, probably because I was starting to understand that it was wrong. My  past didn't worry me much growing up, I had buried everything and ignored if such a thought even crossed my mind. But in the ninth standard,  I was reading, 'The story of my life' by Helen Keller. In the book, she says that fact and fancy looked alike while talking about her  childhood. This made me question if what happened to me was all in my head, I had buried everything so deep. I realised that it was the truth, it had happened to me, and I finally cried out loud." #TheIndianSexperience #31daysofIndianSexperiences #inktober #Induviduality #crowdsourced #artist #art #India #stories #inktober2018 #inktoberday5 #indian #illustrator #womenwhodraw #mixedmedia #handmade #drawing #decoupage  #painting #dailydrawing #sharingisgrowing #storyteller #artistsoninstagram #dailyart


A post shared by Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on




However, the artist says that sometimes, these confessions can be difficult to deal with especially if one has no training on dealing with victims of trauma, abuse or violence. This was also one of the reasons why Indu had ended her Tinder project, artworks from which are currently on display at a German museum. "My work hangs with Picasso and Edvard Munch," a jubilant Indu said.
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