Nine white cubes of 1ft x 1ft x 1ft, when interpreted by different artists mean different things and open completely different worlds to the audience. The exhibition titled Reconstructing (White)3 currently on at The Loft aims to re-invent physical spaces through the artworks.
The Loft has recently undertaken a project titled The Square Foot Project, in which the art space has been re-designed to become a studio apartment. The project is on for a year and artists will use the studio apartment to stay, create artworks and also exhibit them. In keeping with this change, this exhibition has been inaugurated to understand the importance of physical space.
“Originally, The Loft was in a mill compound. It was modified to house an art gallery and now, it’s a studio apartment. Congestion of space is a constant problem in a place like Mumbai. But still there are things that can be done like this studio apartment for artists to work in,” says Himali Singh Soin, the curator of the exhibition. “On similar lines, we thought of doing this exhibition, which will display nine 1ft x 1ft white cubes. The artists have to work within the constraints of the cube,” adds Soin.
White space matters
According to Soin, the white cube is a symbol of a sterilised art space, which is pure and pristine. “It is a space where laws exist. It is a metaphor for the rules that exist in society. The artists subvert the idea of this white cube. They have introduced memories, dance, sex, greed and a lot more in that space of the cube. When someone looks at it, it opens up a completely different world,” she adds.
Artist Chittrovanu Mazumdar has done Bengal-inspired carvings outside his cube, ensuring it stands out from the rest. “He has introduced a video-like bioscope in it and when you look inside the cube through the peep hole you will see Bengali and French artifacts; Bengali and French music emerges from it. There is a living room, miniature paintings and a lot more that you will see inside. There is also a couple living a life of extravagance. It is a comment on how much greed can exist in a particular space,” reveals Soin.
Break the mould
Niyeti Chadha, on the other hand, decided to deconstruct her cube. “I tend to work with everyday objects and re-interpret them. The cube, I felt, was rigid. So, I decided to dis-assemble it; break down the formal relationship of the planes,” explains Chadha.”
“I opened it up and starting drawing on it. I have introduced elements of a domestic space in it,” she adds. Hema Upadhyay’s cube is more a narrative of her own life. She says it is a box of her mental space. “It is also a window with a bouquet at the window sill. It gives the impression of looking into someone’s home. I would like people to understand it their way and search for meaning,” says Upadhyay.
Tales of a tree
The exhibition currently on at the Jehangir Art Gallery, showcases more than 35 sculptures that represent the different aspects of a tree. Pradeep Jogdand, a 25-year-old artist from Ambajogai, a town in Beed district of Maharashtra, is proud to showcase his first solo exhibition in the city. The exhibition titled Kalpavruksha, looks at the beauty of nature with an emphasis on the different roles of a tree, from a friend to a child to one that gives rest and shelter to adults.
“Although 80% of my sculptures exhibited here are on the tree, there are some portraits and other compositions as well,” says Jogdand, who has been showcasing his works at exhibitions for the last seven years. “I have done many group shows, but this is my first solo exhibition,” he says. A graduate from JJ School of Arts, Jogdand specialised in sculptures. “I paint as well, but I love working on sculptures. I have done landscapes, portraits, semi-realistic work and a lot more. I have experimented a lot and I do most of my work with stone marbles,” he adds.
The current exhibition reflects certain childhood memories of the young artist. Trees were not just worshipped in his town; everyone also adored them. He remembers sitting by the tree for hours, relaxing in its shade. “Trees have many important roles and several important facets, which I have tried to highlight though my works,” explains the artist.
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