Max Limbu’s series for the show is centred on the Nepalese community in the UK, particularly the first-generation immigrants who arrived post the late 2000s immigration surge, which included ex-Gurkhas and their families pursuing better prospects. The installation examines the trials faced by these immigrants. It delves into challenges such as language barriers, cultural unfamiliarity, and encounters with racism. To achieve this, the installation scrutinises governmental policies concerning immigration and assimilation.
This art installation statement explores the act of cultivating non-native plants in the UK to evoke a sense of home and cultural connection. The process of these plants adapting to the British environment parallels the journey of immigrants seeking a better life in a foreign country. An intriguing metaphor implies that a plant's perseverance in acclimatising to its new surroundings mirrors the determination of immigrant communities navigating unfamiliar territories. The insult directed at the plant symbolises the assimilation process, presented through a sanitised office glass door. This juxtaposition highlights the tension between the plant's invasive nature in the exhibition space and the assimilation it undergoes.
The installation effectively blends playfulness and depth. By combining these elements, it strikes a delicate balance between openness and discourse, inviting viewers to contemplate the complex emotions and experiences of both plants and immigrants in their quest for belonging.
Untitled (Rock City), Vinyl lettering on Acrylic sheet, standoff wall fixings, 110 x 73.4 cm, 2023
Untitled, Akabare chilli plants, tarpaulin, compost, 2023
Max Limbu (b. 1990, Nepal) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice explores the relationship between culture, heritage and politics through the lens of architecture and artefacts in the context of contemporary Nepal.
He seeks to reconfigure objects and narratives that address and highlight local struggles confronting rapid urban change in a globalised world. He is particularly interested in the role of communal memories and narratives as a way of documenting historical changes and envisaging political possibilities. He often works with found or repurposed objects and uses film as a primary medium to present collected narratives and myths that tell the story of urban conflict and cultural struggle, loss and change.
Max Limbu exhibited around the UK, his most recent group show was the Ingram Prize 2021 Exhibition at Unit 1 Gallery (2021); The Island, Out the window, Bristol (2021); Mayfair Art Weekend Showreel; The May Fair Hotel, London. He notably participated in a group exhibition in 2020 at the White Cube Tomorrow: London. Limbu was commissioned for a film by the Nottingham Castle Museum in 2017. He was awarded with the Santander Universities Scholarship, 2018, and appeared in press such as The Guardian in 2013.