Nep Sidhu

Power, Timeless

Working in Toronto, Ontario, Nep Sidhu works from a myriad of traditions and continuum that is often rooted within his Punjabi Sikh origin. Such an uninterrupted search is experienced in his sculpture, Kufic calligraphic writing as well as a type of endless generation of visual grammar in different mediums that is spawned from within various musical collaborations. He is the founder and creator of the Paradise Sportif and a member of the Black Constellation collective along with Shabazz Palaces, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Nicholas Galanin among others. Juxtaposition of methods and textures is fundamental to the work, whether it's his collaborations in adornment /textile for Erykah Badu, working with Mike Reynolds and Alex Mcleod in colliding 4k graphics into VHS compression, or grand hand-dyed and woven tapestries, Sidhu instrumentalizes whatever response is most harmonious to a call.

His videos for Shabazz Palaces "Quazarz on 23rd" and “Welcome to Quazarz” uses this diverse collection of mediums including textile, digital generation, performance and sculpture all working to encapsulate a message. Some of the components in the video existed previously as standalone works such as Sweet Atlanta Black Simulacrum by Tiona Nekkia McClodden, the tapestry A Song for My Father, in The Tune of My Mothers or the robe, a vestment created for jazz legend Phil Cohran that take on a new life in each iteration of work. In Sidhu's view, the work is only a way to bend open something for the viewer, to give them a freedom by which they can interpret a myriad of possibilities for the multiplicity that the work belongs to.

In this sense, instincts, intentions and feeling prevail over any singular experience or the didactic. By striking this balance, Sidhu's work is an invitation.

Once the viewer is a part of the work, the potential of the expression begins to further its potency and capacity.

This particular body of work for Ishmaels Quazarz narrative follows along an idea of knowledge production and surveillance. In sending out a Shabazz Palaces Signal Scramble ®, “Welcome to Quazarz” is a response hope to reach the Original Indigo Children of the Drum in confirming their time has come (outside of the Guilds recognition.) At this point, Black Constellation’s sonic scribe has been quickly quantized for an “Add to Cart” behavior that identifies everything as either a commodity or a threat to security. Equally, the same signal is a call & response to an ancestral dwelling that awakens to recognize its sons and daughters whom continue a line of rhythm making and daring to dance with Ishmael in the Indigo Valley. Quazarian in feeling. Cleanliness by ceremony. The work of Nep Sidhu confirms A Shiny type of Blueness is here to stay.

More at: ↗︎
Statement by Omar El-Sabrout

Beaded Adornment

A Song for my Father in the tune of my Mothers

Confirmation Calligraphy

Ishmael’s Head

Paradise Sportif Practise

Philip Cohran Robe

Image Credits:

Images: 1, 2, 5, 12, 20 - 26
Renderings by Alex McLeod in collaboration with Nep Sidhu for Shabazz Palaces

Images: 9 - 11
Renderings by Mike Reynolds in collaboration with Nep Sidhu for Shabazz Palaces

Image 38
Rajni Perera for her ‘Traveler’ Series, Photographed by Omii Thompson