, Ronny Sen
, Saju Kunhan
, Sameer Kulavoor
, Soghra Khurasani31 January - 03 February, 2019
The intention of this year’s booth at India Art Fair is to showcase more of the artists represented by TARQ, highlighting each practice that focuses on a range of issues, including materiality, nature, memory and the archive. The seven artists proposed here work across a multitude of mediums, including photography, sculpture, printmaking, and painting to best convey their preoccupations. Whether you look at Aaditi Joshi’s works in plastic, or Saju Kunhan’s large scale wooden relief works, each one is engaged with contemporary issues from waste to migration, while the works of Ronny Sen, Sameer Kulavoor, Soghra Khurasani and Muzzumil Ruheel examine through fact and emotion, the beauty and violence of the landscapes, mundane narratives and conversations that exist around us – both in urban and rural setting.
Aaditi Joshi holds a Diploma in drawing & painting from L.S. Raheja School of Art, Mumbai. Her last solo show, New Works was held at Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, India, 2011-12. Her other solo shows include Recent works, Museum Gallery, Mumbai, India, 2007 and Zero Opacity, Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai in 2005 Joshi has participated in several group shows, some of which include Waste Land, curated by Birgid Uccia, TARQ, Mumbai, India, 2018; Megacities Asia, curated by Al Miner and Laura Weinstein, Museum of Fine Arts, (MFA) Boston, USA, 2016; (M)other India, Galerie du Jour – Agnès B., Paris, France, 2011; India Art Summit, presented by Gallery Maskara, New Delhi, India, 2011; Moonwalk , Gallery Maskara, Mumbai, India, 2009; Video Wednesday, curated by Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala, Gallery Espace, New Delhi, 2009; Present-future, curated by Dr. Sarayu Doshi, NGMA, Mumbai, 2005; Monsoon Show, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2001; Art Access Week, Birla Academy of Arts & Culture, Mumbai, 2000. She has also participated in group exhibitions at the AD Design Show, Mumbai, 2018, presented by TARQ; India Art Fair, New Delhi, 2011; VIP Art Fair (online); Mumbai Gallery Weekend and Hotspot, 2012; SH Contemporary, Shanghai, China (In collaboration with Arthub Asia and the Creative India Foundation), 2012. Aaditi was one of 20 artists shortlisted for the ŠKODA Prize 2012 and was awarded with a Fellowship for the Lucas Artists Residency Program 2012-14 at the Montalvo Art Center, CA, USA. In 2013, she was part of the UN POPOLO SENZA MEMORIA è UN POPOLO SENZA FUTURO (people without memory is a people without future), curated by Sumesh Sharma and Serena Trinchero, MK Search Art (MKSA) residency project ‘Contemporary Renaissance’, Indian-Italian cultural exchange program, Casa Masaccio, San Giovanni Valdarno, Tuscany, Italy. The artist lives and works in Mumbai, India.
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 also 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.
Saju Kunhan’s practice lies at the clever intersection of medium, process and archive, creating visual articulations of the important question of who dictates historical narrative and the concurrent subtext of what is left behind along the path of history-making. He articulates his musings through a meticulous process of developing a personal visual archive, from which he cherry-picks to create his rendition of a historical document. Over the years, Saju has mastered the technique of image transfer – a process that involves a meticulous, manual transfer of an image from one surface to another. This unusual and painstaking technique has become the cornerstone of a definitive oeuvre of large format wooden ‘maps’ as well as smaller, jewel-like paintings on paper. These works, combined with the metaphorical implication of image morphing, serve as a powerful commentary on the distortion of historical narratives and its implications collective and individual identities. Saju’s tryst with wood – his signature medium, began before his journey as an artist. As he waited to enroll as an art student, Saju channeled his creative potential by polishing furniture and painting hoardings and banners. He carried this hands-on knowledge of material into his budding art practice, beginning with small scale experiments of image transfers on wood (the Flipped Pages series is an example of this). Saju began collecting historical images from old magazine and books, creating his own interventions within them through doodles and erasures. After the images were transposed onto the coaster-size blocks, he would further engrave the surface to create a fascinating visual document which became a sliver of history, innocuously manipulated through the artist’s hand. Taking his experiments with image transfer on wood on to a bigger canvas, Saju began working with blocks of repurposed teak wood, creating large format ‘maps’ which have become one of the key elements of his practice today. The impressive scale of these works brings a gravitas to the ‘map’ – a human construct, often fragile in its two-dimensional form, yet the arbitrator of destinies throughout history. For works such as Winners are not judged and Whose land is it anyway, (part of his solo exhibition “Stained Geographies” at TARQ, November 2017), Saju created his version of a historical map of two iconic cities – Delhi and Mumbai respectively. The images were culled from his personal photographic archive of ethnographical and historical dioramas from museums across the country. He juxtaposed these with screenshots of contemporary Google Earth satellite images, digitally collaged and transferred onto the six panels that make up each of these wooden ‘maps’. In his smaller format, mixed media paintings Saju’s relationship with the Mumbai – a city he came to as a student and continues to thrive in as an artist, comes to the fore. The Make In – While Burning series was inspired by some of the catastrophic events of the city’s recent past. Saju used images of the metropolis’ iconic buildings, using a combination of transfer and burning processes to create, magnificently iridescent tableaus of apocalyptic twilights. Saju’s works are a peculiar and intriguing as they collapse the past and the present to create a document that does not necessarily owe allegiance to historical accuracy, but serves as a document to the way we look at history. The individual becomes an archetype in the scheme of Saju’s sepia-toned landscapes, thereby opening up a vital conversation about our place along the broad arc of civilization.
Sameer Kulavoor’s (b.1983) practice lies at the intersection of graphic design, illustration and art. He has been creating a personal body of work, and self-publishing art books and zines that take a look at characteristic mannerisms and archetypal facets of urban surroundings, design and culture. Some of the zines he has produced include Sidewalks & Coffeeshops ( 2009), Zeroxwallah Zine (2011), The Ghoda Cycle Project (poster-book, 2012), Blued (book/zine , 2013) and Oh Flip (flipbook, 2013). Kulavoor’s works were most recently exhibited in a show titled Please Have A Seat at Artisan’s gallery in Mumbai (2016). He exhibited The Ghoda Cycle Project at WDC Helsinki in 2012 and in Mumbai in 2013 while also collaborating with Paul Smith on a series of Ghoda Cycle Tee-shirt designs that were released worldwide. Most recently, he has been working on a number of large scale public art projects and paintings which are on view in Auckland (New Zealand), Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. A Man of the Crowd is Kulavoor’s first solo exhibition at TARQ. Kulvoor is the founder of Bombay Duck Designs and co-founder and co-curator of 100%ZINE – a visual arts magazine that discovers and showcases a wide range of visual art talent from India and abroad. He currently lives and works in Mumbai.
Soghra Khurasani (b. 1983) began her artistic training with a Bachelors Degree in Painting at Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam. She went on to get a Masters of Visual Arts degree at M.S University, Vadodara, with a specialization in print making – a medium that has come to define his artistic practice. Soghra has had several solo exhibitions such as ‘Cratered Fiction’ curated by Sumesh Sharma at TARQ, Mumbai (2015); ‘To Speak for the Mute’, Gitler & _____ Broadway, New York, U.S.A (2015) and her debut solo – ‘One day it will come out’, curated by Hena Kapadia and Sumesh Sharma at TARQ, Mumbai (2014). She has participated in several group exhibitions across the country; those of note are - ‘Memento Mori’, TARQ, Mumbai (2015); Regional Art Exhibition, Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (2014); ‘Multiple Encounters’, AIFACS, New Delhi (2013); ‘Visual Evidence’, Clark House Initiative, Mumbai (2013); and ‘Interstices’— a collateral project of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012. She was also a part of TARQ’s exhibit at the India Art Fair 2018 (New Delhi). Soghra has been a part of numerous artist residencies such as the KHOJ-Kooshk Residency in Tehran and New Delhi (2016), National Printmaking camp conducted by the Directorate of Art and Culture, Goa (2015) and the Lalit Kala printmaking camp, Vadodara (2012). She has been the recipient of the 56th National Academy Award at Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi (2015) and Kala Sakshi Memorial Trust Award, New Delhi (2009). Born in Vishakhapatnam, Soghra currently lives and works in Vadodara.