This thesis is the written component accompanying my graduate exhibition “Magic Masala”. The exhibit consists of an animated film, photographs, and a cooking performance. My thesis and art focuses on the important role played by food as a cultural signifier in the lives of Indian diaspora in the United States. I examine current food practices and consumption rituals from the perspective of a particular Indian immigrant. Though this work is informed by my personal experiences, memories and imagination, it also reflects wider global issues.
This thesis contains a discussion of the personal, artistic and narrative influences on my original body of work. The central concepts and the techniques used to create the work in this exhibition are explained and the conclusions are incorporated. This thesis mainly examines the significance of cooking, assimilation, impact of Westernization, changing realities of the immigrant Indians and gender roles in the Indian domestic arena.