Balamohan Shingade


NameBalamohan Shingade (he/him)
Country of BirthIndia
Place of ResidenceTāmaki Makaurau Auckland
ArtformMusic, Visual arts, Literature
Decades Active2010s, 2020s


Balamohan Shingade is a musician, writer, curator and, as of 2023, a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University of Auckland. He was born in Hyderabad, India and moved, along with his parents and brother, to Tāmaki Makaurau in 2000. Throughout his many strains of practice, Shingade focuses on ideas of community in settler-colonial and postcolonial contexts, including what can be done to encourage social cohesion and an analysis of what hinders this work.

After completing his MFA at Elam in 2014, Shingade worked as a curator for several years. From 2014, he was the inaugural Gallery Manager and Curator at Malcolm Smith Gallery in the Uxbridge Arts & Culture hub. In his text ‘The Adda Community’ Shingade reflected on his work at this art gallery, the term ‘community’, and the Indian social practice of adda. Within this text, he explains,

Adda is a network of relations that is concerned not with race, class, gender, sexuality and culture, but instead, it is a community that is composed via relations formed across and against these categories. In adda, the bond is that which is commonly open. After all, nothing is expected in adda but idleness and palaver, with the quality of the conversation depending on the relational moods and mindsets of its participants.

Taking his cue from the contested social history of Howick, Shingade put together an exhibition programme that problematised and discussed the concept of community.

In 2017, he was appointed Assistant Director of ST PAUL St Gallery (now called Te Wai Ngutu Kākā Gallery), where he curated exhibitions such as How to Live Together (2019). This exhibition was a large group show of Aotearoa and international artists, which Shingade approached with the idea of idiorrhythmy at the centre, a concept explored by Roland Barthes which speaks to the lifestyle of monastics in the Middle Ages who lived communally but had the freedoms of following their own independent rhythms of working and living. Shingade applied this concept by incorporating artworks that would take place away from the gallery itself — performance pieces and self-driven domestic residencies, some in isolation and others with an open invitation. In the premise of this exhibition, he posed questions like “What is the intimacy we must develop to create a community? What is the distance we must maintain to retain our solitude?” Shingade was also the convenor of the 2019 St Paul St Curatorial Symposium alongside Taarati Taiaroa, which was an extension of the exhibition How to Live Together.

Shingade studied the performance of classical Hindustani music in India throughout his many visits there as a teenager and young adult. In resisting the political ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism), he has been critical of its influence in Aotearoa. He balances his passion for Hindustani music and advocacy for an inclusive tradition in ‘Singing with Practical Intent’, an essay that he contributed to Past the Tower, Under the Tree: Twelve Stories of Learning in Community. Shingade co-edited this book with his wife, Erena Shingade, and it was published in 2023 by GLORIA Books. He wrote about the development of this essay for ArtNow for its column Thinking out Loud.

Until 2022, Shingade was a Junior Research Officer with CARE (Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation) at Massey University. In this role, he led a study on the development of community-driven approaches for responding to issues of social cohesion and racism experienced by South Asian youth and young people in Aotearoa, and how Asian New Zealand musicians face challenges to work and wellbeing within the music sector.

Following this research, he went on to complete his Master's in Philosophy at the University of Auckland, where he wrote his thesis titled Hermeneutical Injustice in the Context of Settler Colonialism. In this study, Shingade uses examples of misinterpretations of te ao Māori through the lens of a Western worldview in order to argue that settler-colonialism is perpetuated by hermeneutical injustice. He explains that “practices of interpretation and understanding across te ao Māori and the Western worldview are asymmetrical, and they take place against the background of asymmetrical relations of power across Indigenous and settler groups in the settler-colonial context.” Shingade is currently working on his PhD thesis on the topic of peoplehood.


Key works / presentations

2020 - Balamohan Shingade presents Chervelle Athena, May Fair, Tāmaki Makaurau

2019 - How to Live Together, ST PAUL St Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau

2018 - Field Recordings, ST PAUL St Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau

2017 - Alex Monteith: Coastal Flows/Coastal Incursions, ST PAUL St Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau

2016 - Isobel Thom: ILK, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau

2016 - Soft Architecture, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau

2015 - Joyce Campbell: Te Taniwha and the Thread, Uxbridge Arts and Culture Centre, Tāmaki Makaurau

2013 - Thirty-Six Views of Mount Taranaki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (open window), Ngāmotu

Last updated: 29 February 2024 Suggest an Edit