Kiraṇ Kumār is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and writer. His work focuses on unpacking understandings of the human body-mind through a trifold practice of dance as art, science and ritual, and on proposals for change that these understandings hold for our contemporary world. Rooted primarily in his somatic practices of Haṭha yoga and traditional Indic temple dancing, his research unfolds through critical, conceptual and artistic inquiries into premodern Indic cosmologies. In his works, these transdisciplinary inquiries come to dialogue with pressing personal and planetary problems, through performance, writing, video, installation and archiving as modes of publication.
Following initial study in mechanical engineering at National University of Singapore (2016), he holds an MFA in new media art from City University of Hong Kong (2012) and an MA in dance from Inter-University Centre for Dance Berlin (2014). Since 2015 his independent artistic research has been supported by the National Arts Council Singapore, Dance Nucleus (Singapore), Einstein Foundation, Literary Colloquium Berlin and Robert Bosch Foundation. Research fellowships include the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences (2016-18),Volkswagen Foundation’s ‘Arts & Science in Motion’ program (2016-19) and Akademie Schloss Solitude (2022).
The collaborative research between dancer Kiraṇ Kumār and dramaturg Kai Tuchmann is towards the making of ‘Dear Dead Doctor’, a work of digital and documentary theatre. In the form of an open letter to Kiran`s late grandfather, who was the first doctor of western medicine in his family, the project explores performative strategies of bringing medical and somatic knowledges into dialogue on stage. Our address to the doctor is conceived through Kiraṇ`s grandchild: a parthenogenetic, proto-progenic being (P3B). P3B will be digitally materialized by drawing on ‘data points’ from yogic, dance and martial embodied practices. ‘Dear Dead Doctor’ re-imagines what ‘being human in the world’ could imply in its continuity across pre-modernities and futurities.