One of my earliest childhood memories is of myself and my twin brother weeping inconsolably as we watched our mother heading out to pluck tea with a huge cane basket on her back, through the grimy window.
Somasunderam hails from the up-country region of Sri Lanka. She explores her society and her own existence through unorthodox mediums, confronting the struggles of her community in the last 100 years. She uses materials associated with the everyday practice of drinking tea such as tea strainers, tea cups, tea bags, as well as the payslips received by tea pluckers that calculate their daily wages according to the weight of tea leaves plucked.
Presented at Recurrence is work triggered by some of her earliest memories; simple sketches on tea cups and payslips, very much like what her mother received as a tea estate worker.