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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.



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.


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