On a journey home.
Rupy C. Tut is an Oakland, California based artist. She came of age in Punjab, India but moved to America right before High School. Rupy retains a strong connection to her Punjabi Sikh background and it continues to inspire and guide her journey as an artist and calligrapher.
Rupy is an Oakland based visual artist blending mainly two unique traditional art forms: calligraphy and Indian miniature painting.
Rupy’s work is particularly remarkable for her strict practice with traditional materials and methods associated with calligraphy and Indian miniature painting. Her work with these two forms has been presented through exhibits, talks and demonstrations at major venues including London City Hall, Stanford University, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives in Toronto, Canada.
Tut produces collections that challenge norms of identity and belonging as well document the richness of her experiences as a first generation Punjabi Sikh immigrant. In 2018, her first major international solo exhibition titled “A Journey Back Home” opened at Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives in the Toronto area. Rupy's work with paintings and calligraphy also becomes translated into the medium of photography and video. The resulting visual projections are a unique way to experience artwork that is otherwise meant for small canvases and close audience.
Using a traditional way of making, I dissect historical moments of displacement and struggle while evaluating their impact on contemporary identity and narratives. When history and tradition are dismissed as not relevant, I return to both to discover elements that are recognizable and relatable to our lives today.
In a process based practice, my work is varied including works on paper and canvas, video installations, and development of traditional materials. I focus on stories and symbols of my people derived from eastern imagery as well as diasporic identity. The power of language and script inspires me to create calligraphy that gives physical space and visibility to uncommon scripts. As I evoke traditional methodology of making pigments, paper, and form, I meditate on the nuances of a hybrid identity and socio-political influences. I question traditional roles and labels by preserving traditional practices and making.
My work intends to engage the viewer as a witness of history and traditional practice while reflecting on current events. The viewer also becomes a co-author of narratives that are cyclical and join the past to the present.
The expressed narrative in my work is individualistic, detailed, and current while the materials, methods, and forms remain constrained within centuries old guidelines and tradition. Throughout historical struggles of identity, art has been a strong reflection of the sentiments of the masses. I aim to create work that encourages openness and willingness of the viewer to engage with something that might feel culturally specific but very much alive and relatable to their own experience.
RUPY C. TUT (b. 1985)
Lives in Oakland, CA
Married to a techie
Mom to a fierce toddler
Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London, UK
Guler/Kangra Miniature Painting Susana Marin 2016 – present
Arabesque florals Amber Khokhar 2015
Mughal Miniature Painting Ajay Sharma 2015
Calligraphy: Script and Color Gaynor Goffe 2015
Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA MPH in Global Health 2009
University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
BS in Evolutionary and Ecological Biology;Minor in South Asian Studies 2006
2018 Solo Exhibition, Rupy C. Tut: A Journey Back Home, Peel Art Gallery, Museum
& Archives, Brampton, ON. April 7 – July 2.
2017 Solo Exhibition, Broken Seeds Still Grow, The Flight Deck, Oakland, CA
2016 Group Exhibition, London City Hall, London, UK, April 9-22nd
2015 Group Exhibition, Calligraphies in Conversation, Ziya Art, SF Bay Area, CA
2014 Group Exhibition, Berkeley Painters Open House, Berkeley, CA
2014 Group Exhibition, Sikh Lens Film and Art Festival, San Jose, CA
2014 Featured in Komagata Maru by Neelamjit Dhillon, Valencia, CA
2013 Group Exhibition, Art of Partition, 1947 Partition Archive, 2013
2012 Art Fair, Silk Street Trading Co. Trunk Show, ICC, Milipitas, CA
2012 Art Fair, Silk Street Trading Co. Trunk Show, W Hotel, Westwood, CA
2012 Retail Show, Silk Street Trading Co. Trunk Show, Hyatt Regency, Newport
2011 Solo Exhibition, Sikh Lens film and art festival, Chapman University, CA
2011 Panelist, Sikh Lens film and Art Festival, Chapman University, CA
2015 – 2016 Artist-in-residence cataloguing and researching more than 400 pieces of art in the Kapany Collection of Fine Art , Sikh Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.
2018 Rupy C. Tut: A Journey Back Home, Artist Talk, Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives, Brampton, ON. April 22, 2018
2017 Sikh Heritage Month Ontario, Calligraphy Workshop and Artist Talk, Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives, Brampton, ON. April 15 & 16, 2017.
2017 Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs, Demo & Talk, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. March 24 & March 25, 2017.
2016 Language of Colors: A Discussion of Guru Nanak’s Janamsakhi Life Stories, Demo & Talk at Asian Art Museum, February 20, 2016.
2019 Creator/Director/Visual Artist, Designer, and Animator, “Broken Seeds Still Grow: Taking Root”, dance theater visual art production premiering March 2019 at CounterPulse in San Francisco, CA
2017 Creator/Director/Visual Artist, “Broken Seeds Still Grow”, dance theater visual art production premiered in November 2017 at the
Flight Deck, Oakland, CA
2017 Designer (pattern and garment), Rupy C. Tut x Rootsgear SS17 Collection, a collection of streetwear consisting of printed t-shirts and scarves featuring motifs from traditional miniature painting tradition and geometry.