The Fortune Teller by Malini Gupta -SOLD OUT!

Through this work I seek to investigate the deeply entrenched gender biases that plague the Indian society. It is comprised of two parts: part one is the game of Fortune Teller; part two is my personal childhood story. The Fortune Teller - an unassuming childhood game that predicts your future based on choices you make. As the viewer interacts with this seemingly benign and innocuous game they are confronted by the cold, hard statistics of gender inequality in India. For the second part of the piece, I narrate my first hand experiences of growing up in India. As the reader takes this journey with me from my childhood to teenage years, the deeply entrenched biases come to life. I wanted to give the reader the statistics of gender bias, but also my personal story so the mundane numbers would become real. Growing up in India, the image of my pious mother reading religious Hindu scriptures every day never left me. References to it abound in this piece: the imagery used, the colors, and the layout of the fortuneteller and the smell of incense imbued in the paper. The book itself is bound on top to allude to a sacred Hindu scripture. It is bound using a thread, which, in the Indian culture is traditionally used for religious ceremonies. Because the book is sacred to me. I’ve allowed myself to be deeply vulnerable for this work to resolve my darkest childhood memories. The fortune teller is designed in beautiful patterns to entice the viewer to interact with it but also to camouflage the darkness it holds – the darkness of a child being sexually abused and a family choosing to ignore it.

Artist Bio

Originally from India, Ms. Gupta moved to the US to study Communication Design at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon. What started as a thesis project for her design degree, making artist books has now become her passion and profession. Her interest in artist books also led her to pursue a Post Baccalaureate degree in Book Arts at Oregon College of Art & Craft. Ms. Gupta's work is collected by numerous private collectors and public institutions in the US and Europe. She is a recipient of a number of awards and honors for her books and graphic design work. Recently, her work was published in 500 Handmade Books, and reviewed in The Times of India. She's also a freelance graphic designer.