> Remains of the Day

Shahid Datawala

06 July - 05 August, 2017

Remains of the Day – an exhibition of photographic works by Shahid Datawala is his first solo exhibition at TARQ. The two series that make up the exhibition - "Half Naked Nude" and "Unstill Life" - come together in their common theme of an exploration of the uncanny in everyday objects. They are influenced by Datawala's wider practice that branches into the realms of design and fashion photography. His unique eye for seeking out the extraordinary amidst the banal is evident in these bodies of work. 'Half Naked Nude’ is the product of exploration and scavenging along the Konkan coast during monsoon of 2015. The detritus of human habitation left behind by the sea and embedded in the dense, oil-spill choked sand along the coast of Maharashtra caught Datawala’s eye and became his inspiration for this body of work. He began noticing extraordinary, sensuous forms in the refuse left behind by the purging force of the sea. Long forgotten pieces of fabric or plastic, swallowed, churned and spat out by the sea, have been given a second life through Datawala’s lens. ‘Half Naked Nude’ creates an unsettling yet exciting sensation of a human presence by bringing alive the debris left behind by human habitation. ‘Unstill Life’ (2016) on the other hand, was created in a more domestic milieu, though it continues in a similar vein of unearthing the potential of an alternate meaning in the material existence of objects. Started by the artist as a playful distraction, this project became all encompassing project. Datawala began to discover interesting compositions in objects around his home which became the subjects for this series. Quite inadvertently, he also began experimenting with found objects collected during his adventures on the coast. Seemingly unrelated objects have been put together in ‘still life’ compositions. The unlikely pairings open up the possibilities of viewing an object in more that its banal, literal form. Playing with words, significations, colours and textures, Datawala’s compositions bring alive the fantastical world of the secret life of objects. It is world that is measured and wild in equal parts, couched in a sardonic humour that has a universal resonance.

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Shahid Datawala

Shahid Datawala (b.1974) has photographed extensively for various publications. His solo exhibitions include: I once was alive, Gallery 7, Mumbai, 2015, Where the city rests, Matthieu Foss Gallery, Mumbai, 2010, Shadow Boxing, Tasveer in Bangalore, Calcutta and New Delhi, 2008-2009, Dress Dircle, Tasveer in Bangalore, Calcutta, Mumbai, New Delhi, 2007-2008, A Walk with Pillars, Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, 2001. Datawala has also participated in a number of the group shows including: Post Visual World, curated by Gitanjali Dang, Priyashri Art gallery, Mumbai 2008, Caturday is Cleaning Day, curated by Gitanjali Dang, The Loft, 2009, India: Public Places, Private Spaces curated by Gayatri Sinha and Paul Sternberger, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota, 2008 and The Newark Museum, New Jersey, 2007.

Further, Shahid Datawala was also the chief designer for Pallate - a furniture design store in Mumbai, for 7 years. He was awarded the Edida Furniture Category Award in 2009 and the Edida Designer of the Year by Elle Décor in 2010. He also designs clothes and is a jewellery maker. He is currently working on his next solo exhibition and a series of photography book projects on various aspect of Mumbai. Datawala lives and works in Mumbai.


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