Mashir Mash Kresenshun

Mashir Kresenshun

“If you think you are too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito.” – Dalai Lama

Within Mashir Kresenshun’s artistic process, exists the initial steps of this twenty-two year old artist's voyages into self-discovery. The whisperings of this creative voice is bound and interwoven into the understanding of his own existence and identity as a marginalized person of colour. Kresenshun’s mixed media work strive as figurative drawings and paintings integrated with cardboard elements on canvas, as well as exist alongside abstract deconstructed collaged cardboard works which speak with equal volume of the homogenised packaging and transient nature of his identity as an Indian person. It is through the formation of his work that he comments on the construction and deconstruction of culture.

In his figurative, Indian Trade Series, Kresenshun chooses to interrogate his Indian heritage by depicting vintage Indian photography referenced from a variety of both online and print media sources. These works draw upon the extensive history of the Indian spice trade; using this economic system , as a vehicle to wrestle with aspects of the  bartering through the guise of cultural exchange which was a large component of the historical economic trading of spices. Kresenhun, piggie-backs off this intertwined relationship between the Indian spice trade and his own cultural identification within a South African context, by representing the black, white and brown peoples of this country in the colour palette he utilises.

The cardboard elements in this series allude to the construction and deconstruction of culture and refer to his existence within a cosmopolitan society. This extends the pictorial narratives, beyond depictions of Indian individuality, but instead, inserts Indian culture into the melting pot of this country's multicultural reality.  The abstraction which takes place behind these figures serve as a ritualistic trans-like communing which exists eternally in the background and peripheries of our primary focus.

These Ideas of the construction and deconstruction of society, culture and spirituality take center stage in Kresenshun’s Cardboard Painting Series where the untitled works which make up the series present the ritualistic act of arranging cardboard elements over other cardboard takes on a trans-like appeal; not only in the process of its construction, but also in  the visual rhythmic pattern it creates for the viewer looking at these works.

Skeptics may argue that the optimistic works of Mashir Kresenshun are evidence of youthful naivety, but instead I choose to believe that his works speak of the wisdom beyond his years.

1999 -
Nationality: South African
Residence: Johannesburg
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