Gloria Bhargava’s collages investigate culture from the singular perspective of someone who is both an outsider and an insider. Bhargava was given a Western education at an international school in her native Thailand. At school she learned about the virtues and pitfalls of American culture in recent history, while at home she lived, naturally, as a Thai citizen. Bhargava’s collage practice pursues the contradictions that arise when contrasting a sheltered upper class with the earthy world that keeps things moving.
Bhargava’s pieces are somehow both anecdotal and universal. She shows scenes: a living room, a group of generals at a table, two scientists talking. But the actions are loaded, and iconography plays an important role throughout. Those scientists are powering an entire city with what may be nuclear fission. The living room houses a child glued to the television. And racism in America is probed with great concern.
Bhargava was born in Bangkok, Thailand, where she continues to live today.