Chemould Prescott Road

Art Basel | Hong Kong

Art Basel | Hong Kong

CHEMOULD PRESCOTT ROADMumbai, Maharashtra India Thursday, May 23, 2013Sunday, May 26, 2013
eclipse by jitish kallat

Jitish Kallat

Eclipse, 2007

Price on Request

the baptism certificate - study by desmond lazaro

Desmond Lazaro

The Baptism Certificate - Study, 2013

insomnia by aditi singh

Aditi Singh

Insomnia, 2011

Price on Request

Mumbai, Maharashtra India
Thursday, May 23, 2013Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nilima Sheikh
Nilima Sheikh's series 'Studies for Rozgar' consists of brush drawings and stencil printing that precedes her large scale series 'Gained in Translation' shown at the Art Basel Statement 2011. As with her other work in the past decade this series constitutes a further attempt to bring a layered visuality to the strife-ridden state of Kashmir. Sourcing oral and written histories, lore and poetry, journalism and a wide spectrum of craft and visual traditions, Nilima Sheikh lays bridges between the historical and the contemporary. Her interest lies in the cultural histories embedded in images and translating them into her own pictorial language.‘

Studies for Rozgar' translates from a 19th century manuscript, most likely commissioned by the British, that is a rich record of craftworkers and other professions in Kashmir. By drawing on this manuscript Nilima Sheikh pays homage to the labour of the Kashmiri craftworkers attempting to bring dignity to their struggle against the circumstances of their survival in the past and present. The delicate drawings, even though a typification of labour, almost dematerialize labour, imbuing it with stillness and a staying power.

Aditi Singh
A recurrent theme in Aditi Singh’s drawings is the anatomy of flowers. Drawing flowers for over one decade they still continue to enthrall the artist, or as she puts it: ‘At a certain moment a form chooses you and won’t leave you in peace’. These flowers are not typically meant to decorate or beautify. They survive in extreme climate and their ephemeral character contradicts the tenacious nature of their existence. The organic and geometric structure and their skeletal fragility point to the invisible mysteries inherent in natural phenomena. Exploring the countless nuances and vagaries of those phenomena reveals the artist’s intent to capture the stillness of an infinite space within the limits of a temporal reality. The floral implosions, even though rendered in dark hues, exude an internal luminosity that radiates down to the vast emptiness surrounding the forms, their floating denying gravity and weight.

The process of selecting the paper is an integral part of Aditi Singh’s drawings. The paper acts both as space and skin. Skin that protects, bears the traces of living by witnessing the process of evolution and dissolution. The paper’s texture and materiality create a symbiosis with the subtle colors and shapes of the floral forms, thus standing for the ‘metamorphosis of the One into the Other’, a process that describes the gradual reduction of distance between the work and the self of the artist.

Anju Dodiya
While her exploration of the human self through the experience of her own interiority forms a focalizing point for her work, Anju Dodiya has taken inspiration over the years from a variety of sources, historical and contemporary, esoteric and popular. In this series, she draws from sports photography and nineteenth century Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, whose depictions of Samurai figures evoke for Anju Dodiya the world of sport, and mimics some of "its desperate moments of winning and losing".

The tragic/heroic aspirations and semblances of death that the artist and her image narrate within the works, display an almost martial energy. The carefully structured tableaux are characterized by a ritual of rigour and tension emerging from the dual elements of concealment and display. Yet this theatrical telling of the artistic self, its private emotions and its secrets, are played out with irony and humor and warmed with the gossamer-light touch of earnest humanity that is the artist's special gift.

Shilpa Gupta
In this work, stars of all flags from recognized and several unrecognized countries have been traced and stitched on top of each other. Not only in this most recent work, but also in the past, Shilpa Gupta has engaged with the matter of borders and geographies. The assertion of new identities on the basis of nations is rather young compared to the existence of communities that have been around for much longer.

Flags as symbols of nations and boundaries that are strict lines drawn for political reasons cannot avoid that violence and terrorism make borders invisible. Similarly languages, customs and relationships that are critical to identity building are not stopped within boundaries. The concept of nation was actually only born in the age of Enlightenment and Revolution. Demising an ancient social order the nation stood for the emergence of a modern world and citizen. Therefore, its claim to be very old is to be reconsidered not only in the light of ethnicity and cultural practices that have much deeper roots, but also in the light of people that have always been there, as no nation could exist without its population.

Desmond Lazaro
House and home are recurring themes in Desmond Lazaro’s work. The search for home and identity run deep in the artist’s life who grew up in England and then moved back to India. In the earlier blue house series the artist has looked at the idea of home and belonging, himself having travelled so extensively and straddling 2 continents. Upon his return to India he started relentlessy searching for his Indian ancestry. Finally he succeeded in obtaining his great-grandfather's baptism certificate.

The work 'Baptism Certificate' mentions amongst other the name of his great-grandfather who lived in Madras during the 1800’s. Found in a Catholic Church in Chennai the record is far more than a mundane object. It forms part of other records bound as books that exude a certain beauty due to stained paper and the sober handwriting of an unknown clerk.

The records unfold different stories of different people, each entry proving of another marriage, another death, another birth. Even though the other people mentioned in the Certificate are unknown to the artist he finds something that connects him to them, a connection that finally represents the long wanted home coming. The 'Baptism Certificate' and 'Baptism Study' read as a celebration of this overwhelming feeling. Therefore, the series sheds a new light on earlier works like the blue house series that spoke of the contradiction of having and not having a home, whereas Desmond Lazaro has now found a space that is devoid of longing but manifests the genuineness of being rooted.

Hema Upadhyay
Hema Upadhyay’s work at most times is engaged with the notion of migration and urbanization within the city she inhabits - Bombay/Mumbai. Mumbai, one of the most expensive real estates in the world, continues to attract people everyday, the statistic being close to 200 migrants coming into the city every day. ‘Angry Birds’, a large scale collage, refers to a video game that the artist got interested in by closely studying its characters and social structuring. The birds in the game stand for the migrants who are deprived of their most fundamental rights to housing and land by a ruthless urbanization. Whereas the birds in the game take revenge on the pigs that represent real estate developers and corrupt politicians, in reality the migrants are haunted by the daily struggle of survival that does not provide them with the means necessary to fight for their basic rights.

Hema Upadhyay is not only preoccupied by the social, political and aesthetic framework of the city, she also addresses the mental and psychological space of its inhabitants by using texts that are taken from thinkers on modernization and development in context of the megapolis. The birds that appear colorfully in her large drawing against a sober cityscape are non-migratory birds which are, like the migrants, constantly displaced and deprived from their ecological resources.

Jitish Kallat
'Eclipse' is a ten part black and white photo-piece that might collectively appear like planetary forms or astral imagery. In fact the forms derive from medical DICOM outputs realised in a doctor's radiology lab by placing platters of food on a x-ray bed. The x-ray image was then converted into photographs whose black background could be seen as reminiscent of an empty night sky onto which an eclipse is inscribed. Exploring the formal analogies of planetary forms and food, 'Eclipse' in is line with Jitish Kallat's piece 'Conditions Apply' shown at Art Hong Kong last year.

In the later piece the phases of the waxing and waning moon where represented through the “roti” or Indian bread. The “roti”, a staple diet in India, is a metaphor of sustenance, there one day and vanishing the next, much like the cycle of the moon that oscillates between abundance and dearth. Likewise the immersive video 'Forensic Trail of the Grand Banquet' refers to a cosmic field through x-ray images of food. An image of sustenance evokes notions of galaxies and orbits that change their forms from small seeds to giant like structures traveling through the cosmic field like stellar remnants.