Sunita Gurung

BA (Hons) Fine Art - Farnham


Sunita Gurung

Title: The smell of homeland

Medium: turmeric powder dyed in fabric, wax/turmeric powder abstract sculpture

My art practice explores the themes of diaspora through the lens of a South Asian. Within the diaspora’s the questions of identity, belonging, movement, displacement, dislocation, memory of homeland is addressed. The materials I focus on are the everyday used materials and lifestyles within the domestic spheres. I am interested in reusing, fragmenting, weaving the materials such as fabrics, spices in a new way. Throughout my work it explores migration, identity and the common bonds that blinds all people regardless of difference in culture and language.

The exhibition  addresses the diasporic experience of transporting space from one place to the other.  A space experimenting with colour, form, and material. The installation offers the viewer to touch, smell, see, and feel the artwork as a sensory experience. The two main materials used for this exhibition was turmeric and fabric. Similarly, to diaspora’s fabrics are scatter around and fragmented within the space that creates the movement. Fabrics are flexible and could be interacted with. With hanging of turmeric powder dyed fabrics, the visitors are encouraged to walk through.


As a South Asian the use of turmeric powder in domestic space is everyday lifestyle. Turmeric is widely used traditionally and historically as a spice, cosmetic and medicinal use in South Asian household. It is regularly used as a cooking as well as for healing and protection. Within the South Asian household, as soon as we enter the home, there is always the smell. The smell of spices. The smell of home. Or in the clothes that wear there is always somewhere the smell of spices that are left. From this experience I wanted to create a space where through the movement of body, it explores the boundaries of physical, imagination and social space through interaction.



The idea of Home is key theme of this work. Home for the diaspora’s have become increasingly vague. All ethnicities had dissolved into their surrounding contexts. Such as gender, race, class by a world of multiculturality, intersectionality and fluidity. The doubled relationship or dual loyalty that migrants, exiles, and refugees have to places-their connections to the space they currently occupy and their continuing involvement with ‘back home’.” It is an continues process of displacement, fragmentation, migration, and relocation. Through this journey and transition diasporic identities are created. These identities are however not settled but transitioned across physical and cultural boundaries between home countries and host countries. Through this work it explores identity, cultural, food, smell, and everyday experience and the question of home, locality, belonging as a diasporic identity.



With this idea of sharing personal and shared communal traditions by engaging the viewers in the work. The idea of moment and journey of not only human but the objects or the memory of that place as well. By creating a space of communal engagement with people by inviting them into the cultural space that was constructed through my own background of diaspora.



This work explores the identity, belonging, movement, displacement, the memory of homeland through the lens of diaspora. Through the installation I would like to propose a creation of cultural space with the turmeric powder. The idea of homeland through the smell. This idea is mainly addressed through the smell of spice, traditions, and culture in Western space by sharing with other in real-time space with the viewers.


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Sunita Gurung | Fine Art
The smell of homeland
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