Home Artists Chila Kumari Burman

Chila Kumari Burman

Bootle, United Kingdom

1 Works exhibited on Kooness

Current location


Represented by

Works by Chila Kumari Burman



29.46 x 41.91cm

1356,40 €

Chila Kumari Burman (Punjabi: ਚਿਲਾ ਕੁਮਾਰੀ ਬਰਮਨ) is a British artist. A significant figure in the Black British Art movement of the 1980s, Burman was one of the first British Asian female artists to have a monograph written about her work: Lynda Nead's Chila Kumari Burman: Beyond Two Cultures (1995), and a second monograph by Nead was published in 2012.

In 2018, Burman received an honorary doctorate from University of the Arts London for her impact and recognised legacy as a British and International artist. In 2020, Burman was selected into the Art Workers' Guild as a Brother.

Working across printmaking, painting, collage, film and photography, her work over four decades has been at the intersection of feminism, race and representation as activism and artwork. Her works – particularly her prints from the 1980s – were shown with other Black British artists and part of their political protests in the 1980s and 1990s against police brutality, racial discrimination, and stereotypes of South Asians. In 2018, Burman's contribution to British art was recognised by the University of the Arts London, receiving an honorary doctorate alongside others such as Mike Nelson, Gary Younge and Theaster Gates.

In the 1980s her work was shown in many black British artists shows from: Four Indian Women Artists (UK Artists Gallery, 1982); to Black Women Time Now (Battersea Arts Centre, London, 1983); The Thin Black Line (ICA, London, 1985); Black Art: New Directions (Stoke on Trent Museum and Art Gallery, 1989); and the feminist exhibition Along the Lines of Resistance (Rochdale Art Gallery and touring, 1989).

In the 1990s and 2000s she and her work has explored her family history and her father's work as an ice-cream seller in Bootle (in her exhibitions Candy-Pop & Juicy Lucy, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London, 2006; Ice Cream and Magic, The Pump House, People's History Museum, Manchester, 1997). In the 1990s, her work began to be shown internationally and she was in the Fifth Havana Biennale (1994); in Transforming the Crown (Studio Museum, Harlem and Bronx Museum, New York, 1997); Genders and Nations (with Shirin Neshat; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York State, 1998). Her retrospective touring show, 28 Positions in 34 Years, went to Camerawork, London; Liverpool Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; Oldham Art Gallery; Huddersfield Art Gallery; Street Level Gallery, Glasgow; Cardiff Technical College, Cardiff; Watermans Arts Centre, London. In the 2000s, she has increasingly shown between UK and the Asian sub-continent, taking part in key feminist and South Asian women artists’ exhibitions that explore the diaspora of South Asian identities: e.g. South Asian Women of the Diaspora (Queens Library, New York, 2001) and Text and Subtext (Earl-Lu Gallery, Lasalle-SIA University, Singapore, 2000) toured to Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, Australia, in 2000 and Ostiasiataka Museet (Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities) Stockholm, in 2001, Sternersenmuseet, Oslo, Norway, and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; X-ray Art Centre (Rui Wen Hua Yi Shu Zhong Xin), Beijing, China, in 2002 (exhibition catalogue).

In 2018, Burman's survey show, Tales of Valiant Queens, was displayed at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. It brought together works made between the 1970s up to 2018, focusing on themes of female empowerment, social and political activism, folk traditions and colonial legacies. The show included many iconic pieces and new work, where it was reviewed as an exhibition that showed "how the race, gender and class barriers the Burman family encountered formed the political dynamism of her work".

In October 2021, Burman contributed to WWF's campaign, Art For Your World.


Solo exhibitions:

  • 2011: Fragments of My Imagination, Paradox Gallery, Singapore, toured to Blindspot Gallery, Hong Kong (exhibition catalogue)
  • 2006: CANDY-POP & JUICY LUCY, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich, London, UK (Iniva education project) (exhibition catalogue)
  • 2005–07: Damascus and Aleppo, British Council touring exhibition
  • 2005: Chila Kumari Burman, 1995–present, Waterside Arts Centre, Manchester, UK
  • 2004: Material Serendipity, Plymouth Arts Centre (exhibition catalogue, Lynn Nead), toured to Cecil Higgins Gallery + Museum, Bedford, Nottingham: New Art Exchange (Apna Arts)
  • 2003: Points of View, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Hastings, UK
  • 2003: Enchanting the Icon, Sakshi Gallery. (exhibition catalogue, Marta Jakimowi)
  • 2002: Visual Autobiographies, Rich Mix, London (exhibition catalogue, Leverhulme artist-in-residence)
  • 1999: Hello Girls!, Andrew Mummery Gallery, London, UK; Northbrook College of Technology; Bretton Hall, Leeds University, UK; Rochester Art Gallery, Rochester, UK
  • 1999: 28 Positions in 34 Years, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
  • 1998: Genders and Nations (with Shirin Neshat), Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York State (exhibition catalogue, Katy Deepwell)
  • 1997: Ice Cream and Magic, The Pump House, People's History Museum, Manchester, UK
  • 1996: Between the Visible and Invisible, National College of the Arts, Lahore, Pakistan
  • 1995: 28 Positions in 34 Years (retrospective touring show), Camerawork, London, UK; Liverpool Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK; Oldham Art Gallery, Oldham, UK; Huddersfield Art Gallery, Huddersfield, UK; Street Level Gallery, Glasgow, UK; Cardiff Technical College, Cardiff, UK; Watermans Arts Centre, London, UK

Group exhibitions:

  • 2015–16: No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960–1990, Guildhall Art Gallery, London, UK
  • 2010: Seeing In Colour, British Council Touring Show, Bottega-Gallery, Kiev, Ukraine; Centre for Urban History, Lviv, Ukraine; Academy of Arts, Tbilisi, Georgia; Academy of Fine Arts, Baku, Azerbaijan (exhibition catalogue)
  • 2010: ORIENTATIONS trajectories in Indian Art, Foundation DE11 Lijnen, Oudenburg, Belgium (exhibition catalogue)
  • 2010: NINE: Her magic square, The Viewing Room Gallery, Mumbai
  • 2009: British Subjects, Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, USA
  • 2007: Candy Culture/Confectionaries and Conurbations, 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok
  • 2007: BECKS FUTURES, Manchester, UK
  • 2006: Bollywood, Scunthorpe Art Gallery, UK
  • 2005: Angels in the Studio. Slade Women Artists, Cecil Higgins Gallery, London, UK
  • 2003:Women and Representation, Sakshi Gallery, Bangalore, India
  • 2003: History Revision, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK
  • 2002: Art of Nations, Visual Arts Centre, North Lincolnshire, UK
  • 2002: A Thousand Ways of Being: Memory and Presence in the Arts of Diaspora, October Gallery, London, UK
  • 2001: First Valencia Biennial, Valencia, Spain
  • 2001: South Asian Women of the Diaspora, Queens Library, New York, USA
  • 2000: Text and Subtext, Earl-Lu Gallery, Lasalle-SIA University, Singapore; toured to Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, Australia, in 2000; Ostiasiataka Museet (Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities) Stockholm, Sweden in 2001; Sternersenmuseet, Oslo, Norway; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan; and X-ray Art Centre (Rui Wen Hua Yi Shu Zhong Xin), Beijing, China in 2002. (exhibition catalogue)
  • 2000: A Grand Design, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
  • 1999/2000: Sister India exhibition, club night of Asian performers and artists, touring the UK
  • 1999: Crown Jewels, Berlin, Germany; NGBK; Hamburg, Kampnagel, Germany (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1999: 000 Zero Zero Zero, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK
  • 1998: Out of India, Queens Museum, New York, USA
  • 1998: Art in Freedom, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1998: Revelations and Performance', Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, UK
  • 1998: Tourists in our own Lands, Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1998: You and Me, Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, Walsall, UK
  • 1998: North Current, Halland Museum of Cultural History, Sweden and Gedok-Haus, Lubeck, Germany
  • 1997: Transforming the Crown, Studio Museum, Harlem and Bronx Museum, New York, USA
  • 1997: South Asian Artists, Transcultural Gallery, Cartwright Hall, Bradford, UK
  • 1996: Portrait of our Mothers, French Institute, London, UK, touring to Paris and Edinburgh (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1996: Uncommon Thread, Civic Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 1995: Under Different Skies, Oksenhallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 1995: Photo-Genetic, Review the Lens of History, Street Level Gallery, Glasgow, UK
  • 1995: Cominex Camera, Withzenhaufen Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1995: Digital Equinox Custard Factory, Birmingham, UK
  • 1994: With Your Own Face On It, Plymouth Arts Centre, Nottingham Museum and Art Gallery, Watermans Art Centre, London, UK (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1994: Fifth Havana Biennale, Havana, Cuba
  • 1994: Femme Noir 21st Century, British Council, Manchester, UK
  • 1994: My Grandmother, My Mother, Myself, Southampton City Art Gallery and Sandton Art Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1993: Transition of Riches, Southampton City Art Gallery, Birmingham City Art Gallery and touring (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1992: Fine Material for a Dream, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK, and touring (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1992: Confrontations, Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, Walsall, UK (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1992: Back of Beyond/ Keeping Together, The Pavilion, Leeds, UK (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1991: The Circular Dance, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK, and touring (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1990: Let the Canvas Come to Life with Dark Faces, Coventry City Art Gallery, UK, and touring
  • 1990: Heroes and Heroines, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK
  • 1990: Fabled Territories, Leeds City Art Galleries and touring (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1989: Black Art: New Directions, Stoke on Trent Museum and Art Gallery, UK
  • 1989: Along the Lines of Resistance, Rochdale Art Gallery and touring (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1989: Animal Liberation: The Centre of the Circle, Rochdale Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1988: The Medium and the Message, Five Women Printmakers, Rochdale Art Gallery (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1988: Numaish Lalit Kala, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1987: The Devils Feast, Chelsea School of Art, London, UK
  • 1987: The Image Employed, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (exhibition catalogue)
  • 1985: Artists Against Apartheid, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK
  • 1985: The Thin Black Line, ICA, London, UK
  • 1983: Indian Artists UK Festival of India, The Barbican, London, UK
  • 1983: Black Women Time Now, Battersea Arts Centre, London, UK
  • 1983: Creation for Liberation, Brixton Art Gallery, London, UK