[skip to content]

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

Miss Eva Bentcheva

BA History of Art and Literature (JACOBS UNIVERSITY, GERMANY), MA History of Art and Archaeology (SOAS)


Eva Bentcheva
Miss Eva Bentcheva
Email address:
Thesis title:
Escaping the Na(rra)tive: Influences and framing of Asian iconography in performance art in Britain, 1960-90.
Internal Supervisors

PhD Research

This research explores the introduction of Asian iconography into performance and conceptual art in Britain after the Second World War. With the birth of avant-garde groups in Britain during the 50s and 60s, came the quest to upset notions of what was considered art, where it could be staged, who was an artist and, most importantly for this research, where art looked to for new inspiration, concepts and visual language.

Focusing on the period from 1960-90, this research examines the works of Asian artists working in, or alongside British avant-garde circles. It addresses the relationship between two different, albeit related developments in their work: On the one hand, the search to partake and establish an authoritative voice in an 'internationalized' modern art world through the fusion of Asian iconography and performance/conceptual art. On the other hand, the desire to combat and contest reductive, popularized views of Asian cultural and religious practices in the West.

PhD Conferences

  • Titling the World: Histories of Modern and Contemporary Asian Art, University of Sydney, 29th-30th Nov 2013, Paper: "Escaping the Nar(ra)tive in 1960s’ Britain: David Medalla’s Fusion of Asian Iconography and Performance Art."
  • Visual Culture in Crisis: Britain 1800 to the Present, University of York, May 2013, Paper: "Exploring Diaspora Struggles: The Performance Artwork ‘Kali’ by Sutapa Biswas."