> Stained Geographies

Saju Kunhan

27 October - 25 November, 2017

Stained Geographies, Saju Kunhan’s first solo exhibition at TARQ, brings together a body of work that is the result of Kunhan's exploration of the archive along with the re-interpretation of images in shifting contexts. He uses wood and archival images to articulate his conceptual investigations. Accompanied by an essay penned by architect and researcher Anuj Daga, Saju’s exhibition catalogue highlights the spectacular variation in scale that Saju is able to execute. His works range from small scale multimedia drawings of cityscapes to immense multi-panel works that use image transfers onto wood to depict maps and large-scale migrations from city to city, and indeed across the world. By working with maps and spaces, Saju creates a mythical, almost fantasy world, that prompts questions of where we are, how we got there, and where will go from here. According to Anuj Daga, “Movement, collisions, ruffles and stains give meaning to life in Saju’s works. Staining is an active process that enables our engagement with history. And it is through such engagement that we are able to define distinct geographies – physical as well as cultural. What shall be the shape of the world as seen through the extents of such engagements? The works presented in this selection invite us to live the space between the finished and the incomplete. It paints a possibility in the life of a stain that gains definition in its fading, or one that learns to fades in its firmness. Saju’s geographies reconcile stains into shades of landscapes that have accumulated meaning over a slow process of history. It gestures to the stained geographies we all eventually come to inhabit.”

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Saju Kunhan

Saju Kunhan (b. 1983) began his artistic training in his home state of Kerala, at the Government College of Fine Art, Thrissur. After receiving his BFA degree, he went on to pursue his MFA in painting from the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. In 2014, Kunhan received a Post-Graduate Diploma degree in Museology and Conservation from CSMVS Museum, Mumbai. Kunhan had his first solo exhibition, "Stained Geographies" at TARQ, Mumbai in 2017. He has been a part of exhibitions all across the country. Some of his recent exhibitions of note are - "Traversing Histories", two person show curated by Jitha Karthikeyan at Artimis Cars, Chennai (2019); India Art Fair, represented by TARQ, Mumbai (2019); "Mapping Frontiers", group show curated by Lina Vincent Sunish as part of the Krishnakriti Festival, Hyderabad (2018); "Mattancherry", curated by Riyas Komu at URU Art Harbour, Kochi (2017); "Young Subcontinent", curated by Riyas Komu at the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa (2016); “Scape & Scope”, anniversary group show of TAO Art Gallery at Jahangir Art Gallery, Mumbai (2016); “Liminal Affinities”, the inaugural exhibition at Nine Fish Art Gallery, Mumbai (2015); “The Deep Inside”, two man show at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2015) and “Memento Mori”, a group show at TARQ, Mumbai (2015). He currently lives and works in Mumbai.


  • Stained Geographies

    In Mumbai’s TARQ Art Gallery, Saju Kunhan’s first solo exhibition, Stained Geographies, explores not just themes such as migration but even histories and geographies of particular lands and areas, and all of it is done through maps.

    The Week
    04 Nov 2017
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  • Saju Kunhan: Overwriting Histories

    There is something curiously raw and earthy about the artworks of artist Saju Kunhan when seen from a distance. A closer look reveals the undulating rings of wood that is the backdrop of most of these works. There is an abundance of human figures on the move.

    Big Art
    10 Nov 2017
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  • Interpreting Fragments of History

    ‘Who does a city really belong to?’ This and other questions on geography and human movement through history till date form the crux of Saju Kunhan’s first solo show, Stained Geographies , ongoing at Tarq.

    The Hindu
    20 Nov 2017
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