> In Letter and Spirit

Saubiya Chasmawala

, Youdhisthir Maharjan

, Muzzumil Ruheel

09 June - 02 July, 2016

In Letter and Spirit showcases a collection of works by three exemplary artists, whose works each highlight the graphic beauty of text. Saubiya Chasmawala, Youdhisthir Maharjan and Muzzumil Ruheel, all come from a variety of contexts, but their work stands united by the intricacy and intimacy with which they approach the idea of text. Chasmawala, a recent graduate of MS University, Baroda, uses text in her work primarily as symbolic. The letters make no words and the words no sentences which allow her to grapple with her identity and ideas of transience through text that has been inaccessible to her until her college years. The intricate detail with which New Hampshire-based Maharjan approaches the deconstruction of text in pages of books is impeccable. His collages focus on the materiality of the page, and each of his works examine the notions of erasure and rewriting, completely separating the physicality of the text from its inherent meaning. Based in Karachi, Ruheel engages Urdu calligraphy to delve into the issues that arise with mundane written narratives and how they operate within history at large. His work questions how we constantly write, and then subsequently present the stories of the past in the present. Poet, cultural theorist and curator Ranjit Hoskote brings together the works of each of the artists in a beautifully-penned essay, highlighting each individual practice as if this was a collection of three solo exhibitions.

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Saubiya Chasmawala

Saubiya Chasmawala (b.1990) received her Masters in Visual Arts from Vadodara’s Maharaja Sayajirao University, Fine Arts, specialising in painting (2015). She interned under the paper-artist Anupam Chakraborty in hand paper-making at the Nirupama Akademi, Kolkata. Recently, Saubiya had her second solo exhibition, Batin at TARQ in Mumbai (2019). In September 2017, she had her first solo exhibition, Pilgrimage of Historical Oversights, at Clark House initiative in Mumbai. She has been a part of various group shows including Words of Her Seeing, Conflictorium, Museum of Conflict, Ahmedabad (2019); In letter and spirit, TARQ, Mumbai (July 2016); Unwinding, Nazar Art Gallery, Vadodara, India (November 2016); Reading Room, a travelling exhibition curated by Amit Jain, Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, United Kingdom (October 2015) and New York (September – October 2016) and Emerging Palettes, an exhibition of paintings, Srishti Art Gallery, Hyderabad (August 2015). Her work was also exhibited at the India Art Fair, represented by TARQ (2020 & 2018), and CIMA award show (February 2017). Saubiya was part of the Artists' Program at The Space Studio, Baroda (February-April, 2019). She has been an artist-in-residence at the Blueprint12 Studio, Vadodara (July-December 2015) and at the TIFA working studios in February 2017. She is a recipient of the prestigious Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship Award (2011-12) and Inlaks Fine Art Award (2016). She currently practices her art in Vadodara at her personal studio.

Youdhisthir Maharjan

Youdhisthir Maharjan (b. 1984, Nepal) began his academic foray into the arts with a B.A. in Creative Writing & Art History from the New England College, New Hampshire (USA).  He went on to pursue his M.F.A. at the University of Idaho in 2012. Maharjan has since exhibited extensively in India, Nepal, the United States and the UK. Some of his solo shows of note include Nothing Repeated at Prichard Gallery, Idaho (2012); The Art of Not Making at the New England College Gallery, New Hampshire (2012) and Nite Light at Indigo Gallery, Nepal (2004). An Unquiet Mind is his first solo exhibition at TARQ as well as in India.

Maharjan has also been a part of several group shows including Himalayan Contemporary, Desai/Matta Gallery, San Francisco (2017); Deep Cuts: Contemporary Paper Cutting at Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire (2017); In Letter and Spirit at TARQ, Mumbai (2016); Reading Room, Saffron Art, New York (2016); Reading Room: Leaves, Threads, and Traces, Winchester Gallery, UK (2016) and Emerging Talent, Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia (2016). His work has been a part of large scale exhibitions such as the Kathmandu Triennale (2017) and the Boston International Fine Art Show, Boston Center for the Arts (2015). The artist currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. Youdhisthir Maharjan is an artist based in Henniker, New Hampshire. He received his Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Idaho (2012), and Bachelors in Creative Writing/ Art History from New England College, New Hampshire (2008).

His solo shows include Avernus, Reflections Gallery, Idaho (2011); Swayambhu, Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts and History, Idaho (2012); The Art of Not Making, New England College Gallery, New Hampshire (2012); Spirituality and Obsession, McGowan Fine Art Gallery, New Hampshire (2014); and Mixed Media Works, Siddhartha Art Gallery, Kathmandu (2015).

Maharjan’s works has been exhibited at various group shows including No Printing Necessary, Arizona State University, Tempe (2012); Printmaking/Bookmaking: Works on Paper, Herrett Museum, Idaho (2013); The Future is Here Again: Visual Language, AC Institute, New York (2015); and Reading Room: Leaves, Threads and Traces, Winchester Gallery (2015). Furthermore, he has participated at the India Art Fair (2016) as well as the Boston International Fine Art Show (2015).

Muzzumil Ruheel

Muzzumil Ruheel is a visual artist based in Karachi. He was born in Lahore in 1985 and is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Beacon House National University (BNU) 2009. He has been part of the faculty at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (Karachi), the School of Visual Arts, Beacon House National University (Lahore) and the Visual Studies Department at the Karachi University. Muzzumil has had exhibitions nationally and internationally. His work is part of important public and private collections.  Solo and group shows includes, Tapestry of Fading Gardens, 1x1 Gallery, Dubai.Between the Sun and the Moon, Lahore Biennale. India Art Fair, Tarq, Delhi, India. Confessions of the wait, 1 X 1 Art Gallery, Dubai. 2020. Misunderstandings..., Canvas Gallery Karachi, Pakistan. In Other Wor(l)d (solo), Canvas Gallery,  Art Dubai , The Quantum City, International Public Art Festival, Karachi, Pakistan, Pioneer Artist Residency III, Canvas Gallery, Khushaab, Pakistan, Indian Art Fair, Tarq, Delhi, India 2019, Baato Se Baat Nikalti Hai (solo),  Tarq , Mumbai, India , Point of no return (solo), Rohtas Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan , In between the lines (solo) Art Dubai, The Museo Diocesano Carlo Maria Martini, Milan, Italy, Multiple Narratives,  Grosvenor Gallery, London, UK  2018, Hearsay (solo) Canvas Gallery, Karachi,  Witness, Karachi Biennale 17, KSA, Karachi, Pakistan, Imago Mundi Project. La Biennale di  Venezia 2017,  Lost in his own garden (solo) Grosvenor Gallery, London, Colombo Biennale, Srilanka, Digging deep, crossing far, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, In letter and spirit, Tarq, Mumbai  2016, The alternate life of lies (solo) Canvas Gallery, Karachi 2015, And his beard grew and grew and grew (solo), Rohtas Gallery, Lahore, Letter Of Apology, Abhisaran Booth, Indian Art Fair, India,  Dolce Gusto, Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi, Pakistan 2015, Letter of apology (residency) Kaladham Museum, Vijyanagar 2014, ...but some of them never happened (solo), Canvas Gallery, Karachi the Young Moscow International Biennial, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia 2014, Present Re-Inventions, Grosvenor Gallery, London 2014. He was also a part of the Abhisaran Residency, India – a collateral event of the Kochi Biennale 2014. Earlier his work was shown at Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, Wip Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden, Still Exotic, Collaborative Project, Cairo Documenta, Egypt, Space Invader,  Aicon Gallery, London, UK, Bastakiya Art Fair, Dubai, Through Other Eyes,  Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry and The Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea, Wales, UK, Parallel Lines, Cartwright Hall, Bradford City Art Gallery and Museum, UK, Media as Medium, UDK, Berlin, Germany and many others.


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