Tapestry of a Third Culture Kid

Lines / Divide, a show at Boston East Gallery by Radius Collective brought together nine Boston artists to reflect on the divisions made concrete and celebrate the differences that bring us together.

Tapestry of a Third Culture Kid is a handmade layered papercut installation that serves as a visual answer to the frequently-asked question, "Where are you from?" 

Dimensions: 25" x 40"
Show Curation & Photography: Joshua Duttweiler


Raised in a traditional South Indian family across 6 countries, my life has been rather nomadic. Born in Kuwait, I spent the first 10 years of my life hopping between 5 Arab countries; moved to India in 2011, and subsequently moved to Boston in 2016. Therefore, “home” is more than just a physical place — it is a hybrid of emotions, an endless collection of memories. Home is a multitude of experiences related to culture, travel, displacement, inspiring people, family, language, shared stories and self-discovery.

We may be divided by physical borders or varying world-views, but looking beyond them can bring us together. By blurring these lines, we are more mindful of different cultures and their customs; helping create a cross-cultural tapestry of understanding, empathy, adaptation and integration.
Emoting through intricately layered motifs, this piece celebrates the home(s) I grew up in and their borders, relationships that have acclimated to changing timezones and distances, language, music, tradition and spirituality; and most importantly; my parents’ journey from very humble beginnings in their hometown to overcoming obstacles and achieving success in a completely different culture.

Each pattern has been cut freehand and intuitively from paper. The motifs are inspired by forms in nature to symbolize these narratives, while paper as a medium represents the transience and fragility of home as a concept for third culture kids."






©VaishnaviKumar/2024