In memory of Indian Artist Hema Upadhyay

Baroda born and Mumbai based Hema Upadhyay was a painter and mixed media artist who used photography and sculptural installations to explore notions of personal identity, dislocation, nostalgia and gender.


“Fish in a dead landscape” (2014) (photo by Anyl Rane, image courtesy Chemould Prescott Road and the artist)

Her work was characterized by a deep emotional sensitivity to the realities of poverty and displacement, and she was known for seamlessly linking personal trauma with environmental and human crises to evocative effect. Upadhyay frequently used collaged elements from newspapers in her paintings, which dealt poetically with questions of violence and erasure.

The bodies of Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambani were discovered on December 12 2015 in the Mumbai suburb of Kandivali West, about 10 miles north of the Juhu Beach apartment to which the artist, who lived alone, failed to return on Friday night.

Investigations are still open. Although the Kandivali police have arrested artist Chintan Upadhyay for murder of his estranged wife Hema Upadhyay and lawyer Harish Bhambani, they don’t have any concrete evidence to prosecute him for the crime.


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