Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rooted in Nostalgia

Sajad Malik, has done his BFA from the College of Arts, Sinagar. He has been working as a cartoonist for The Greater Kashmir (a daily newspaper from Srinagar). He has made a few graphic novels too. Sajad’s art works and his cartoons (done for the daily), draw from the same source in terms of technique, but he makes an honest attempt to create a conceptual segregation, such that no aspect overshadows each other.

Unlike most of us Sajad was not new to Delhi or for that matter to Khoj too. He was a part of a four day workshop at Khoj titled Imagine Peace! Sajad humorously recollects that the talks and the debates at the workshop were quiet contrary to its title. He said, “I was asked “How do you imagine peace?” to which I had no direct answer, for I had never experienced it first hand back home. I can imagine peace only through the stories which my parents narrate to me.” In his sensitive animation, Sajad showed a small boy sitting on a bicycle, hand-dragged by his father, crossing over the Zero Bride in Kashmir. Born in the late 80’s Sajad says that his year of birth fell at a time when Kashmir was already in the grip of unrest. Therefore to him the idea of peace is an image he constructs through nostalgia. Living through this, what lies as a core of his works is not the need to portray conflict, but the life within it.

For the Residency too, Sajad is working on a short animation. His works can be viewed on his website:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tracing Transition

Neha Thakar has done her MFA in Painting from the MSU Baroda. Neha’s core concern is that of understanding a ‘particular process of transformation’, that is a shift, a move, from existence to non-existence; such that the form becomes or gets a status of a language. In videos like Process, Delivered, Neha employed ice, and made sculptures of it, and captured the way they changed their form. Such that the documentation of this entire process became the final art work, as there was no evidence / remains of the original physical works she undertook.

Installation with ice, done at the Residency Program by The British Council at Mehranghad Fort, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 2009

Further Neha likes to plays with the contrast between the tangible and the intangible (in her works - objects catering to ones senses like – different fragrances / odours). She prefers to takes a minimal approach while executing her works, be it her sculptures or her drawings. Delhi provided her a lot of possibilities to explore. A walk through Old Delhi, and the place had lot to tease Neha’s senses, be it the Khari Baoli, the flower market or the old- ittar shop; these places nearly instigated her to align her works, for the Residency in relation to them.

Stills from video Impression, material - ice

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Re-viewing Issues

One of the strongest assets of Bhavin Mistry is his drawing. In his earlier works Bhavin was interested in capturing – textures, their formations and multiple visual possibilities presented by them. To him these works held an intuitive aspect which he wanted to explore.

Untitled, Paper work

A metaphysical aspect runs deep in Bhavin’s current works – a single point perspective, bare eerie landscapes, solid architectural forms. His interest in mechanics made him work on objects which have a ubiquitous presence. With these he creates, what he calls hybrid form; most of which are granted a super-normal or alien status (which invariably hint at a surrogate human presence). All of which contribute to give an uncanny feeling, and at times, a feeling of intense claustrophobia.

Untitled, Paper work

Bhavin does not intend to break away from his conceptual structure – which is rooted in the addressing the idea of basic survival / necessities and claustrophobia. He claims that Delhi, has provided him a newer visual space - to observe, understand and redefine issues, which he has been working on. There seems to be no radical conceptual deviations / departure in Bhavin’s current works, but given the backdrop of the experimental space of the residency, Bhavin certainly intends to adapt newer ways of executing his them.

Current ongoing work at the Residency

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Circuitous Connections

Agat Sharma, Masters from NIFT, Delhi, unlike most of the artists from the Peers 2010 who have attended art schools. The need for stressing on this is piece of information is that since Agat has a different background, his works need to been viewed in a different light. Evidently to him the human body plays a central role (most of the times). Though not intentionally but subconsciously it becomes like a point of reference.

Fear Silhouettes

CCTV (click to enlarge)

CCTV (detail)

His works like, Fear and Fashion, and his project titled – Metro and its Panoptic Modernity, mediate in public spaces, to explore how various systems function, for instance a signage system, a presence of which nearly installs the feeling of fear within the commuters. The idea of a city has played a major role in the conceptualization of his works. Technology – its change and its implications finds an important place in his works. He observes and analyzes the changes a city undergoes and its obvious ripple effect over various faculties including its inhabitants. For the residency, Agat intends to take a look at the idea of consumerism and human sentiments, and a vicious circle in which the city and its inhabitants invariably get caught.

Print Fear (detail)

Print Fear (detail)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Conjoined Experiences

I had introduced the members in the group earlier through their absence, and now I feel its time to introduce their works. This can act as a precursor to their current works at Khoj.

To begin with – Rabindra Patra. Ravi’s work is a close reflection of his personal experiences. In his early life he took up a job which dealt with electronics; and is utilizing this knowledge sensitively while formulating his visual vocabulary. The impact of Delhi on him, after he shifted from Bhubaneshwar, can be seen in his works like - Ande ka Funda and Jo Jita Wohi Sikandar. In which his works revolved around the idea of survival and the understanding and experience of power-play.

In his landscapes, Patra uses various electronic parts to construct a city. Further provides an aerial view, and renders a nearly abstract form to the scape and extricates it from a particular context. For the residency, Ravi intends to nearly narrate his experiences which he has been having with his peers. Most of us were new to the city, just as Ravi was when he shifted to Delhi, for Ravi this is like reliving his earlier time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pacing up

It’s already been 15 days that we all have been shuttling between the guest house and the studios. The first few days flew by as we were getting habituated to the weather and the space. Later, ideas were brewing in our minds about our work and yet the city provided a lot to attract us; and so we spent meandering through the intestines of Delhi. Further we had two great studio visits – at Jagannath Panda and Manisha Parekh’s space. And now it has dawned that not much time is left in hand. And all the latent ideas are finding a tangible expression. Everybody is gaining momentum, such that be it the day time or putting in the nocturnal effort, nothing seems to be a hurdle. Precisely the reason we chose to change the blog name!

Jagannath Panda's Studio

Manisha Parekh in her studio

All of us in our Respective Cozy Zones (Agat is missing)

Ravi and his electronic waste

Sajad -animating

(In continuation to the series I began earlier of introducing the members as and when they went missing. This one was clicked at Manisha Parekh's studio, where Bhavin, Neha and me were absent. Reason, we were simply busy reading a few catalogus)

Bhavin Mistry, Masters in Painting, M.S.U., Baroda. Bhavin shifted in his studio with most of his paraphernalia, including his sleeping bag. This act of Bhavin is just a precursor to what his final work is going to be.

Neha Thakar, Masters in Painting, M.S.U., Baroda. Neha likes to shuttle between her work and her reading, and so at any given time, she will have a few books with her.

And finally that is me, Vrushali Dhage, Masters in Art History and Criticism, M.S.U. Baroda.What do I write about myself? As I have to write about others.