ONE ARTIST | ONE WORK: Hardeep Pandhal, Happy Thuggish Paki

Wed 3 Jun 2020 / 7.30pm

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For the next event in the One Artist | One Work series, Hardeep Pandhal will discuss his recent work Happy Thuggish Paki commissioned by Tramway as part of his solo exhibition Confessions of a Thug: Pakiveli. Layered with trickster-daemonic cues, Happy Thuggish Paki is an audiovisual collage exploring practices of associative thinking and elliptical wordplay akin to rap production. It takes as a starting point the historical application of the word ‘thug’, which originated in British-India to name a so-called religious cult of murderers.

Happy Thuggish Paki begins with footage of Pandhal ruminating candidly on his animation process. This is cut to a scene in which a clip from the animated cartoon series Pac Man, based on the popular 1980s video game, is digitally nested into an animated scene constructed by Pandhal. The Pac Man cartoon did not receive an adequate translation between the USA, where it was produced, to the UK, where Pandhal had seen it as a child. Pac Man’s wife, Ms Pac Man, is repeatedly heard referring to her husband as ‘paki’, although in an endearing fashion. The sound of Ms Pac Man saying ‘paki’ has been sampled and then edited into the sound design that inhabits the subsequent sections of the video, where slow and recursive animated sequences are cut to a dense and associative lyrical voiceover delivered by Pandhal. This part includes gameplay footage of Pandhal playing the browser-based game ‘Osamagotchi’, a game which oscillates between a torture simulator and a pet simulator. The final part shows Pandhal attempting to recall the names of his secondary school peers from an old class photo.

A link to Happy Thuggish Paki will be provided in advance of the event. The event will be live captioned.

Over the coming months LUX Scotland is holding a series of online events led by artists. Each fortnight a Scotland-based artist will present a recent work and talk through how the work came into being. They will be joined by one of the LUX Scotland team and up to 30 online participants.


How it works

Our online events will take place on Zoom.  The event will be live captioned. We will also use the chat space to post questions / comments being raised by the guest artist so they can be referred back to.

We ask that all participants are respectful and listen to the facilitators and other participants. An attendee list will be circulated to all participants in advance of each event. At the beginning of events we will introduce the guest artist and invite participants to briefly introduce themselves and their reason for joining. During the event discussion, we ask that one person speaks at a time and that you type ‘hi’ in the chat to indicate you want to contribute. A member of the LUX Scotland team will keep a track of who wishes to contribute and will direct the conversation to you. You may also wish to use the chat space to type your question or comment, should this be preferable for you. We ask that you keep your microphones on mute until you are going to speak to ensure everyone can hear clearly. We invite you to have your cameras on, where possible, as this maintains a feeling of being together in the space.

If you require support to participate in our online events, or have any questions, please let us know by contacting us on  or by phoning or texting 0739 4042 450, and we will be happy to assist.

LUX Scotland is dedicated to providing a welcoming online environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, or religion or belief. Participants who do not adhere to this code of conduct and the participation guidelines will be asked to leave the event.


We welcome feedback on how these online events have been organised and facilitated in order to improve them as we go forward, in acknowledgment that this is a learning curve and adjustment period for us all. An evaluation form will be circulated at the end of the event along with any references, links or materials brought up during the discussion.


Hardeep Pandhal, Happy Thuggish Paki, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.

Hardeep Pandhal

Hardeep Pandhal was born in Birmingham in 1985. He lives and works in Glasgow.