> Where the water takes us

Rithika Merchant

01 December - 13 January, 2018

Rithika Merchant’s first solo exhibition at TARQ brings together a body of work that explores issues of migration, displacement and belonging through the idiom of epics and myths. Working primarily with the mediums of gouache and ink on paper, Rithika creates elaborate and poetic mosaics of myths that seek to thread together a plethora of histories across time and space.

Water forms a key motif in this body of work. Talking about her choice of subject, Rithika says –“Living in Barcelona, I have been profoundly affected by the refugee crisis which has spurred mass migrations across the Mediterranean Sea from Syria, Turkey and North Africa. The sea right at my door step is very quickly becoming the sea of the dead.

With this in mind, it is important to remember that water also dilutes. To resolve a conflict between cultures, mixing and allowing two cultures to each be diluted by an influx of the other is key to the survival of both. This clash preserves rather than destroys the original cultures. I explore and examine the role water and migration routes play in this clash of cultures and how this leads to the development of a third, stronger culture.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by an essay written by Skye Arundhati Thomas.

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Rithika Merchant

Rithika Merchant (b. 1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons - The New School for Design, New York (2008). Since graduating, she has exhibited extensively including a number of solo exhibitions in India, Spain, Germany and the United States. Her most recent solo shows include Encyclopedia Of The Strange at Tiny Griffon Gallery, Nuremberg (2014); Luna Tabulatorum Stephen Romano Gallery, New York (2015); Intersections at Galeria Combustion Espontanea, Madrid (2016) and Ancestral Homes at Galeria Bien Cuadrado, Barcelona(2017).

Her recent group exhibitions include This Burning Land Belongs To You at The Swiss Cottage Gallery, London, U.K. (presented by TARQ for Camden Kala, UK/India Year of Culture 2017); Language of the Birds: Occult and Art at 80WSE Gallery, New York (2016) and a two-person show, Reliquaries: The Remembered Self at TARQ, Mumbai (2015). Her work has also been included in group shows at The New Gallery, Calgary, Canada, (2017), Summerhall, Edinburgh (2015) and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York (2015). 

Merchant recently collaborated with Chloé, a French fashion house, to create a series of illustrations, which formed the print identity of the brand’s collection at Paris Fashion Week. The artist currently divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.


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