Tongue twister

May 30, 2014, 10:29 IST | Soma Das

If the idea of communication in the absence of language fascinates you, head to Jhaveri Contemporary to view Prem Sahib’s paintings and sculptures. The exhibition, titled Tongues, explores this concept with great depth

On a visit to Jhaveri Contemporary, you’ll find yourself amidst a strange gamut of objects: digital prints in geometrical patterns, artworks with fake diamond earrings, and a steel framework sculpture installation with a mat, ashtray and

Through these abstract displays, artist Prem Sahib is trying to convey ideas about sexuality, desire and intimacy. This exhibition looks into the notions of communication without the use of language or ‘tongues’ where objects seemingly talk to themselves.

Artworks from the Tongue series

Born in London in 1982 to an Indian father and a Polish mother, Sahib graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2006 and the Royal Academy Schools in 2013. Previously, he has exhibited his works in domestic spaces, inviting viewers to seek it out from amongst everyday objects.

Only With Your Lights On, a sculpture made using steel, crash mat, candles and an ashtray

Speaking about the exhibition, Sahib says, “The exhibition navigates certain references through abstraction. I feel there are subtitles that exist outside of language that are interesting to work with, sculpturally. For instance, how you communicate a sensibility, or how you view something can transform the whole situation.”

He adds that several works in this show display moments where materials are manipulated and personified as bodies.
He cites the example of Your Shine, where the surface of the large white tiles is pierced with fake diamond earrings as if they were skin.

All the works at this exhibition are new, though a few were derived from forms explored in his previous artworks.
“The objects that are part of a series, allow me to discover what’s new about how they operate in an exhibition context, and how they interact with others works,” he reasons, adding that he liked the idea of an emerging dialogue or narrative from the different situations in which the artworks are placed.

Influences vary for Sahib and his artworks are inspired by environments, such as the bathroom or the nightclub. The sculpture, Only With Your Light On, features a structural form modelled on a piece of furniture in a Berlin nightclub. Sahib explains that it was the only sculpture that was made in India, and it has turned out to be his favourite work in the show.

On: May 31, 11 am to 6 pm
At: 2 Krishna Niwas, 58A Walkeshwar Road.
Call: 23693639

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