Rupy C. Tut is a painter dissecting historical and contemporary displacement narratives around identity, belonging, and gender. As a descendant of refugees and a first generation immigrant, Rupy’s family narrative of movement, loss, and resilience is foundational to her creative inquiries. Tut's artistic practice expands, innovates, and reframes the traditions of Indian miniature painting. She mixes her own pigments and turns to hemp paper and linen to contend and make visible one’s place in the world.
Rupy C. Tut lives and works in Oakland, California. Her work has been presented through exhibitions and talks at the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco; London City Hall; Stanford University; The Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives, Toronto; a solo exhibition Rupy C. Tut: A Recipe for Brown Skin at the Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara; and a solo exhibition Rupy C. Tut: Search and Rescue at Jessica Silverman, San Francisco. Rupy C. Tut is represented by Jessica Silverman.
Image credit: Portrait of Rupy C. Tut by Lara Kaur
Using a traditional way of making, I dissect historical moments of displacement and struggle while evaluating their impact on contemporary identity, gender roles 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
Individual training under master painter Dr. Susana Marin (PhD in Pahari painting, Prince's School of Traditional Arts, London, UK) 2016-2021
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
2023 Solo Showing, Out of Place, Institute of Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA. September 23 - January 7.
2024 UPCOMING, Group show, Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. January - May 2024.
2024 UPCOMING, Group show, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana. opens April 2024.
2024 UPCOMING, Group show curated by Naz Cuguoglu, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. January 2024
2023 Headlands Benefit Art Auction, live auction, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA. June 6.
2023 The Letters of Linah Harker curated by Naz Cuguoglue, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA. January 21- March 12.
2022 Terra Firma, New Museum Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA. October 21, 2022 - March 19, 2023
2022 Solo showing, Search and Rescue, Jessica Silverman Gallery, April 29 - May 28, 2022. (Solo)
2022 Solo showing, A Recipe for Brown Skin, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA. March 5-May 1. (Solo)
2022 San Jose Museum of Art Auction & Gala, San Jose, CA. September 24.
2022 Art Kala 2022 Auction Benefit, April 7 - May 22.
2022 Art Basel Miami Beach, Jessica Silverman Gallery booth, Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, FL. December 1-3.
2022 Armory Show, Jessica Silverman Gallery booth, Javits Center, New York, NY. September 9-11.
2022 EXPO Chicago, Jessica Silverman Gallery booth, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. April 11-14.
2022 Fog Design + Art, Jessica Silverman Gallery booth, Fort Mason Center. San Francisco, CA. January 20-23.
2021 Auction Preview Exhibition, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA. May 15 - June 16.
2021 The Golden Temple: Center of Sikh Faith, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ. April 2021 - April 2022.
2020 The deYoung Open, The deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA. October 10 - January 3.
2020 Women Pathmakers, Euphrat Museum of Art, DeAnza College, Cupertino, CA. Jan - Mar.
2020 Reflections on Exile, Roots Division, San Francisco, CA. Jan - Feb.
2019 Juried, Diaspora Voiced, Rhythmix Cultural Works, Alameda, CA. Sept 9 - Nov 1, 2019.
2019 Expressions of Divinity, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA. Aug 31 - Nov 3, 2019.
2018 Solo, Rupy C. Tut: A Journey Back Home, Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives, Brampton, ON. April 7 – July 2.
2018 Performative installation, ON LOVE: the art of lines, shapes, and symbols, Arts Brookfield, Brookfield Place, New York. April 17- April 29, 2018.
2017 Broken Seeds Still Grow, The Flight Deck, Oakland, CA. November 16-19.
2016 London City Hall, London, UK, April 9-22nd
2015 Calligraphies in Conversation, Ziya Art, SF Bay Area, CA
2014 Berkeley Painters Open House, Berkeley, CA
2014 Sikh Lens Film and Art Festival, San Jose, CA
2014 Featured in Komagata Maru by Neelamjit Dhillon, Valencia, CA
2013 Art of Partition, 1947 Partition Archive, 2013
2011 Sikh Lens film and art festival, Chapman University, CA
2011 Panelist, Sikh Lens film and Art Festival, Chapman University, CA
2023 Kala Fellowship, Parent Artist Residency, March 2023 - April 2023.
2015 Artist-in-residence cataloguing and researching more than 400 pieces of art in the Kapany Collection of Fine Art , Sikh Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.
TEACHING & PUBLIC ENGAGEMENTS
2023 Creating Art in Diaspora, panel discussion, Koret auditorium, deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA. August 5.
2023 Lecture, Society for Asian Art, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. June 17.
2023 Panel discussion, ICA SF Collector Pack Series, Institute of Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA. April 20.
2020 The deYoung Open: Artist Panel, hosted by Timothy A. Burgard. Part of Virtual Wednesdays. December 2.
2020 Virtual Art Salon, created and produced by Rupy C. Tut and Jason Wyman with support of New York Foundation for the Arts. December 2.
2020 Live Forum with Jvalaa Singh, Indian miniature paintings and ancient text. April 25.
2019-20 Facilitator, 3 Video Roundtable Discussions on building collaborations, New York Foundation for the Arts Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program.
2019 Workshop, Applying traditional language to a contemporary thought, Art Speak Interns Program, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. November 10.
2019 Lecture: Art, Identity and Belonging, Haresh and Joan Shah Series, California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco. September 19.
2019 Brown bag Lunch Artist Talk, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA. October 9, 2019.
2018 Artist Talk, Rupy C. Tut: A Journey Back Home, Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives,Brampton, ON. April 22.
2017 Talk, Art Against the Grain with Rupy Tut, Impact Hub, Birmingham, U.K., April 26.
2017 Workshop and Artist Talk, Sikh Heritage Month Ontario, Peel Art Gallery, Museum & Archives, Brampton, ON. April 15 & 16.
2017 Demo and Talk, Saints and Kings: Arts, Culture, and Legacy of the Sikhs, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA. March 24 & March 25.
2016 Demo and Talk, Language of Colors: A Discussion of Guru Nanak’s Janamsakhi Life Stories, Asian Art Museum, February 20.
2022 Creator/Director/Visual Artist, Designer, and Narrator, “Broken Seeds Still Grow: Taking Root”, dance theater visual art production presented by the Bankhead theater, Livermore, CA on August 27, 2022.
2022 s Performance
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.
2019 Juror Award for “Peace Out, Patriarchy”, Diaspora Voiced, Rhythmix Cultural Works, Alameda, CA. September 14.
2017 Individual Artist Grant, City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, Oakland, CA.
2022 Mentor, Mentorship program, ArtTogether, Oakland, CA. January - June.
2020 Mentee, Mentorship with Sandra Yagi via the Northern California Women’s Caucus for the Arts Mentorship program. January - June.
2019 Mentee, Mentorship with Karen Fiss. Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program - Oakland, New York Foundation for the Arts, Oakland, CA. Jan - April.