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Exhibition

The Ethics of Encounter:Contemporary Art from India and Thailand

B M Kamath(Manjunath Kamath),Chintan Upadhyay,Navin Rawanchaikul,Pinaree Sanpitak,Ranbir Kaleka,Rirkrit Tiravanija,Sudsiri Pui-Ock,Vidya Kamat
16 Aug 2008 to 27 Sep 2008


B M Kamath(Manjunath Kamath)


Manjunath Kamath works with iconic fragments. He renders fragments of narratives and various mise-en-scenes. The fragments achieve the status of a symbolism we think we know but nevertheless retain a sense of mystery.
Kamath draws from his experience of everyday life and the titles of his works claim a concern with the momentary. Detailed images of buildings, the artist in front of a canvas, animals, clouds and signs of domestic and urban contexts float across monochrome backgrounds. The blank backgrounds do not suggest the absence of a greater picture. Rather, the fragments function to represent how we perceive and describe the world. In this respect, Kamath moves from an engagement with the local and idiosyncratic to more universal considerations.
Understanding is, of course, linked to intelligibility. Visual imagery, however, offers a curious challenge to the processes of coding and de-coding received information. Unlike language, where one has either learned the codes or not, visual images are not subject to strict definitions. Kamath brings out the essentially enigmatic nature of images and meaning always seems in flux. Looking at his artworks, the fragments that make up his artworks, one can weave and re-weave interpretations. What we think we might know about the world around us always becomes something else.



 
Painting by : B M Kamath(Manjunath Kamath) / Detail Detail
watercolour on paper mounted on acrylic
dimensions variable
installation with video
2008


Id: BMK-02

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Painting by : B M Kamath(Manjunath Kamath) / EYE EYE
watercolour on paper mounted on acrylic
dimensions variable
installation with video
2008


Id: BMK-02

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Painting by : B M Kamath(Manjunath Kamath) / Mosquito Byte Mosquito Byte
watercolour & acrylic on paper
122 x 152 cm(4 x 5 ft)
diptych
2008



Id: BMK-03

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Chintan Upadhyay


Chintan Upadhyay’s paintings and 3D works have a streamlined perfection that signifies mechanical reproduction. Colors can be garish and while his artworks often appear playful they nevertheless have disturbing undercurrents. The artist focuses on particular motifs, most recently the image of babies, and includes fragmented references to local Indian culture. The affect is typically one of a brash visual overload, like advertising imagery that makes explicit an otherwise implicit vulgarity.

Upadhyay is concerned with the nature of the designed: contemporary technologies of replication. The image of the baby or infant is an appropriate symbol. It can represent innocence and is understood as typifying the natural. In Upadhyay’s terms, both these states have become obsolete in our age of globalized values and because of a pervasive sense of the simulacral. In a word, we are divorced from the realm of the real or authentic. Upadhyay renders aspects of Rajasthani miniature paintings as tattoos on some of the figures he paints to suggest history and identity are markers that are consciously worn. That is, cultural and social understandings are claimed as not emerging inevitably or naturally.

Upadhyay’s art, however, is not one of a crisis of contemporary values. And he is certainly not concerned with nostalgia for more authentic times. Rather, and like much of the best of international contemporary art, his artworks serve a critical prompt about the world we live in.



 
Painting by : Chintan Upadhyay / Visarjan Visarjan
Oil and Acrylic on canvas
274 x 92 cm(9 x 3 ft)
triptych
2008


Id: CU-02

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Navin Rawanchaikul


Born in 1971 Navin Rawanchaikul is a Thai artist with Japanese permanent resident status whose ancestral roots are in Hindu-Punjabi communities of what is now Pakistan. He has developed a unique and vast body of works that rely heavily on team spirit and collaboration, and are most often produced under the auspices of Navin Production Co., Ltd. His artistic development began with works rooted in his local community of Chiang Mai, however, as he embarked on more and more international presentations of his work he started to engage in a process of exploring the negotiation between local circumstances and trends of globalisation. Following this path Navin has become internationally renowned for a dynamic oeuvre of participatory, site-specific projects that include direct community interventions, social commentary and an innovative style of integrating community or individual experiences into eccentric fictional tales. His works include is an array of installations, films, performances, comic books, games, cocktails, mobile galleries and painted cars. Rawanchaikul has participated in numerous biennales and triennales and held solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions including Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, and New York’s PS1 Contemporary Art Center.

Projects

Having begun his career in 1992 Rawanchaikul and his company Navin Production Co., Ltd. have produced a number of ambitious projects both independently and in collaboration with others. Some of the better known projects include:

Navin Gallery Bangkok Run from 1995 to 1998 Navin Gallery Bangkok was a project whereby collaborating with a local taxi driver the artist converted a taxi into an art gallery and invited artists from Thailand and around the world to exhibit. Participating artists included: Masato Nakamura (the artist not the bassist), Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kosit Juntaratip & Lilly Ovary, Khrua In Khong in collaboration with Suttisak Phutararak, and Yutaka Sone.

Taximan A series of taxi projects featuring a one meter tall superhero from Taxi planet who came to the earth in 1999 and finds himself in a transnational quest to save the world from the absurd villain: Millennium Man. In the summer of 2001, on the invitation of the Public Art Fund and the PS1 Contemporary Art Center Taximan came to New York City with the project I Love Taxi. Taxi Cafes were set up in Madison Square Park and PS1 and rather than saving the world from impending doom, this time Taximan came New York on a soul searching trip where he learns about life and himself in his happenstance encounters with New York taxi drivers.



 
Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / Reception Room(Khaek Welcome) Reception Room(Khaek Welcome)
single channel video (HDV)
17:30 min
sofa set
2008





Id: NR-02

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Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / Khaek Khaek
oil on canvas
40 x 52 cm
2008






Id: NR-03

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Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / Mario Sister Mario Sister
oil on canvas
130 x 160 cm
2008





Id: NR-04

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Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / Voiceless Room Voiceless Room
bottle photograph & cupboard
30 x 52 x 112 cm
1994






Id: NR-01

 
Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / Voiceless Room #4 Voiceless Room #4
bottle photograph and cupboard
38 x 19 x 55 cm
1994



Id: NR-05

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Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / Voiceless Room Voiceless Room
bottle photograph & cupboard
30 x 52 x 112 cm
1994




Id: NR-01

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Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / detail of bottle detail of bottle




Id: NR-01

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Painting by : Navin Rawanchaikul / detail of bottle detail of bottle




Id: NR-01

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Ranbir Kaleka



 
Painting by : Ranbir Kaleka / Man with Cockerel-2 Man with Cockerel-2
single channel video
6 min loop with sound dimensions variable 2004




Id: RK-01

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Rirkrit Tiravanija


Born in Buenos Aires in 1961 and living most of his life in New York, Tiravanija is of Thai origin and in his early works he often used the skills he learned from his grand-mother, a cook. His work - preparing Thai meals for gallery visitors - in a sense became a low-key interactive performances including all involved to socially engage in everyday tasks. His installations often take the form of stages or rooms for sharing meals, cooking, reading, playing music or even living and they can be seen as open-ended social experiments in which the artist as much as the public is testing the borders of the work. Rirkrit Tiravanija is in a subtle way contesting and questioning the structure of the institution while at the same time working within it. Architecture or structures for living and socializing are a core element in his work, which forms the sculptural structures he exhibits.

Tiravanija has exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. Tiravanija`s artwork explores the social role of the artist. His work is said to be typical of contemporary expression emerging in the mid-1990s sometimes referred to as "relational aesthetics", a term invented by French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud, or simply "social art". Tiravanija`s art is indeed highly social and often dependent on the visitors input to function and come alive.


 
Painting by : Rirkrit Tiravanija / 2008 untitled(Miss Understanding) 2008 untitled(Miss Understanding)
130 x 91cm(51 x 36 inch)
edition 1 of 3
photography T-shirt & performance


Id: RT-01

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Sudsiri Pui-Ock




 
Painting by : Sudsiri Pui-Ock / The Street of Two Birds The Street of Two Birds
single channel video
5.40 min loop with sound dimensions variable 2006




Id: SPO-01

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Vidya Kamat


Vidya Kamat’s practice is an on-going inquiry into the ways the human body (and the attendant complexities of self-hood) is ‘written’ by symbolism. Significance is derived from the layers of meaning that can and do veil the human body. The artist suggests that perhaps there can be no understanding outside these layers; no ‘pure’, unmediated relationship to the body.

Alongside this insight, the centrality of not only the female body but the artist’s body, the use of appropriated imagery and the correlation of image and text links Kamat to artists who have been variously informed by and informed feminist theory. At issue is the cultural construction of the female body and notions of femininity. Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger are two references. However, Kamat can be distinguished from these precedents in terms a sensual engagement with the female body. Moreover, she doesn’t resist a sense of authentic drama in favor of concerns with the simulacral. In this respect, and in line with the photographs of her contemporary Pushpamala N, we should note that masquerade and performance form part of an Indian rite of passage in terms of ritual and religious heritage.

Kamat offers a contemporary and culturally nuanced advance on her feminist precedents. The artist tells us that while the body may be shrouded in myths, there are pleasures as well as critical insights to be understood.



 
Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper 122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch) photographic work
2007



Id: VIK-10

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-09

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
 122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-08

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 82 cm(48 x 32 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-07

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
 122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-06

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-05

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
 photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-04

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-03

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-02

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Painting by : Vidya Kamat / Birthmark Series Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
122 x 82 cm(48 x 32 inch)
photographic work
2007


Id: VIK-01

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