Riason Naidoo, Artist from Chatsworth

India ink, alternatively called Indian ink or Chinese ink, is a simple black ink made of carbon. It has been in use in one form or another since ancient times and became standard for writing and printing in the Western world around the turn of the 20th century. At its most basic, India ink is simply a carbon pigment, such as soot from burnt wood or resin, called lampblack, mixed with water to make a liquid.The photographic exhibiton, Indian Ink, showcases the book, The Indian in Drum Magazine in the 1950s, written and edited by Riason Naidoo and published by Bell Roberts Publishing in 2008.

Jazz King Pumpy Naidoo, Sheriff Khan, Te Salots, Amaranee Naidoo, these names, though unfamiliar to most, represent the rich and colourful heritage of the Indian in South Africa. Prominent and sometimes notorious in the 50’s they graced the pages of Drum magazine which followed their exploits alongside Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and the other now legendary names from the Drum era. Until recently however, the Indian influence of this era in South African culture and history would be relegated into the archives.

Who is Riason Naidoo
In his late thirties, Riason Naidoo hails from Chartsworth, Durban. Riason Naidoo is a curator, writer and administrator.  Naidoo completed his Fine Arts degree at Wits in 1995, whereafter he joined the Durban Art Gallery as education officer for three years. He showed his paintings at a solo exhibition at the NSA Gallery in 1997, and while continuing to work in painting and new media also found the time to complete an MA in Fine Arts from Wits University in 2007. Naidoo curated photographer Ranjith Kally’s first solo exhibition held at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and has since put together various photographic shows on identity politics and memory that have toured museums in Vienna, Barcelona, Bamako and Ville de Saint Denis. Most recently the exhibition The Indian in DRUM in the 1950s, collated from Bailey’s African History Archives, has been touring museums in South Africa. Since its inception in 2003 Naidoo has been coordinator of the South Africa – Mali Project: Timbuktu Manuscripts for the Presidency and the Department of Arts & Culture. Riason lives and work in Johannesburg.

Naidoo as a Director of Arts Collection at Iziko
Riason Naidoo is the new Director of Art Collections at Iziko, replacing Marilyn Martins who retired in August last year. His portfolio includes responsibility for the art collections at Iziko South African National Gallery and the Old Town House.

IsiZulu Summary
URiason Naidoo, ungumdwebi, umbhali nomphathi ozalelwe endaweni yaseChatsworth. Waqeda izifundo zakhe zobuciko eNyuvesi yaseWits ngo 1995 wase esebenza njengomfundisi iminyaka emithathu eDurban Art Gallery. Imisebenzi yakhe yobuciko uyikhombise ezindaweni eziningi esebenza ngayedwana njengase NSA Gallery ngonyaka ka 1997. Wakwazi ukuqhubeka neziqu zakhe wenza i-MA kwi Fine Arts ngo 2007 khona eNyuvesi yaseWits. Maningi amanye amaciko esingawabala asebenzisane noRiason njengo Ranjith Kally owayekhombisa ngomsebenzi wakhe eGoodman Gallery, eGoli. Ziningi izindawo azihambele njengaseVienna, Barcelona, bamako nase Ville de Sanint Denis ekhombisa ngomsebenzi wakhe wobuciko. Njengamanje usehlala eGoli ungumphathi we Art Collections.

Sources: www.wisegeek.com/what-is-india-ink.htm

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