23 Aug 2018 - 29 Sep 2018
We are delighted to present Fire Continuum—Ronny Sen’s second solo exhibitionat TARQ. Following his last exhibition in Mumbai, New World Chronicles of an Old World Colour presented in 2016, this exhibition continues to highlight Sen’s photographic engagement with the contemporary landscape. Shifting his lens to Jharia, a coal mining town in Jharkhand, the artist looks deeply into the current issue of environmental degradation that hasmade life unliveable in some parts of the world.
Sen captures images of the coal fire that has been burning in Jharia since the early 1900s, as well as unethical and unsustainable mining practices that continue in the area till today. The result of this is a set of entirely surreal images that are simultaneously morbid and immeasurably beautiful. Initially published as a book titled End of Time (Nazar Photography Monographs 04) in 2017, the photographs in the exhibition allow an opportunity to explore in detail how precious the environment is in this very moment.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue essay penned by Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London, Christopher Pinney. In his essay Pinney examines the singular white Hindustan Ambassador in the series and says, “Looking back and forth over the translucent, almost archetypal and emblematical images of this extraordinary cruel and viscous landscape, one is stopped short, almost with a jolt by a (to my eyes) sardonic photograph near the beginning of the series that depicts a white Hindustan Ambassador at the absolute centre of a dead, heavy, landscape…[this car] helps us understand that his accomplishment is not so much to provide a way into Jharia, since his images eschew the specific temporal and spatial precision of much photography. He clearly uses his camera to provide a different pathway, a way into the future, which is not only India’s, a future that has already begun, and which has no end.”
Ronny Sen (1986) was born in Silchar, Assam. In the early 90’s, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City in Calcutta where he still lives and works.
He made his first artist book titled Khmer Din in 2013. Sen represented India at the World Young Artists Event in Nottingham (2012) and was the recipient of the Jenesys Creators’ Programme for an artist residency in Japan, on invitation by The Japan Foundation (2012). His work was part of the exhibition In Secrecy at the Art Heritage gallery (2011). In 2015, the Polish Institute invited him to be an artist-in-residence in Poland which resulted in two solo residency exhibitions at gallery Tarq in Bombay and Latitude 28 in New Delhi. His works were part of the exhibition Abandon, presented by the Gujral Foundation (2015). His photographs are included in the permanent collection of the Alkazi Collection of Photography. In the year 2016, he won the Getty Images Instagram Grant for his work End of Time in the Jharia coal mines, which were exhibited at Noorderlicht Festival’s show Arena at the Belvedere Museum, Netherlands and at Photoville in New York. He published his second book End Of Time with Nazar Monographs in 2017. He is working on his next book and his first feature film Cat Sticks.