TARQ gallery presents ‘This Burning Land Belongs To You’ at Swiss Cottage Gallery, London

Mumbai gallery to exhibit in London for the first time as part of the UK India Year of Culture. TARQ is proud to present, This Burning Land Belongs To You, at Swiss Cottage Gallery, London, as a part of Camden Kalā, 21 September – 4 November 2017.

The exhibition brings together the works of three contemporary Indian artists – Soghra Khurasani, Rithika Merchant and Ronny Sen, who work across printmaking, painting and photography respectively. While their mediums of choice vary, the artists’ distinct bodies of work come together in their enquiry of the contemporary moment that simultaneously has cultural and regional specificities as well as global commonalities.

“We are showing work which I hope resonates with both a UK and Indian audience. Having studied between London and India I find it fascinating how often artists in both countries are concerned about very similar, social and political issues, relating to the environment, migration and the persecution of minorities. It’s been a fantastic experience working with the team at the Swiss Cottage Gallery to discover this, and to make sure that the artworks reach as many people in London as possible, especially since we all have more in common than we think. “ Hena Kapadia, Gallery Director

With their distinct styles, the artists’ lives and individual practices are reflected in the works that are exhibited here. Reflecting on notions of land, and how domestic and international conflicts complicate our relationships with the very soil on which we live. The three bodies of work explore different facets of the changing times in which we live. Ronny Sen’s photographs investigate the issue of environmental degradation that has made life unlivable in some parts of the world, Soghra Khurasani looks at the changing realities for minorities in the place of their birth while Rithika Merchant contemplates the journey of migration, putting forward the question – can moving from one place to the other save us?

About the Artists

Rithika Merchant (b.1986) creates illustrations of myths that question histories that are available to us throughout culture. Merchant graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Parsons at The New School, New York in 2008.

Merchant has had two solo showings in Mumbai “Origin of Species” in 2011, followed by “Mythography” in 2013. Recent exhibitions include a solo show “Encyclopaedia of the Strange” at Tiny Griffon Gallery, Nuremberg, a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai, “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York, as well as group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi.

Ronny Sen (b.1986) was born in Silchar, Assam. In the early 90’s, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City in Calcutta where he still lives and works. Sen works extensively with the form of the photo-book. In the year 2016, he won the Getty Images Instagram Grant for his work End of Time in the Jharia coal mines, which were exhibited at Noorderlicht Festival’s show Arena at the Belvedere Museum, Netherlands and at Photoville in New York.

Sen represented India at the World Young Artists Event in Nottingham (2012) and was the recipient of the Jenesys Creators’ Programme for an artist residency in Japan, on invitation by The Japan Foundation (2012). His work was part of the exhibition In Secrecy at the Art Heritage gallery (2011). He was invited for a masterclass at the University of California in Berkeley and won the first prize at the MFI Awards (2014).

Soghra Khurasani (b.1983) is a Vadodara-based artist, though she was raised in the city of Visakhapatnam. She holds a aster’s degree in printmaking from the School of Fine Art, Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara (2010), and an undergraduate degree in painting from the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam (2008). Khurasani’s practice explores the printmaking medium. Her conceptual moorings lie within an exploration of analogies between landscapes and the female body.

Khurasani’s solo shows of note include her most recent exhibition Lay in the Midst of Local at Gallery OED, Kochi (Kerala), 2016, preceded by Cratered Fiction, curated by Sumesh Sharma at TARQ, Mumbai (2015); her debut show One day it will come out, a collaborative project by Clark House Initiative and TARQ, Mumbai, curated by Sumesh Sharma and Hena Kapadia (2014); Reclaiming Voices, curated by Noman Ammouri at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2014); and To Speak for the Mute at the Gitler & _ gallery, New York (2015). Her group exhibitions of note are – Lay in Midst of Local, Gallery OED, Kochi (India); Memento Mori at TARQ, Mumbai (2015); Regional Art Exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (2014); Multiple Encounters, AIFACS, New Delhi (2013); Visual Evidence at Clark House Initiative, Mumbai (2013); and Interstices— a collateral project for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012.

About TARQ

TARQ is Sanskrit for “discussion, abstract reasoning, logic and cause.” A contemporary art gallery in Mumbai founded in 2014, dedicated to growing a conversation around art from a diverse range of contexts. Located at Dhanraj Mahal, one of Mumbai’s iconic Art Deco buildings a stone’s throw away from the Gateway of India, TARQ is spread over two floors. The gallery focuses on maintaining close relationships with their artists and patrons, and aims to encourage thoughtful acquisitions of art. TARQ intends on showing art that is process driven and provoking. Apart from our regular shows, the gallery is also committed to building an educational program that enables the art community to grow through thought, discussion and action.

About Swiss Cottage Gallery

Swiss Cottage Gallery sits at a crossroads of historical, artistic and communal engagement. Its location – within an architectural landmark building designed by Sir Basil Spence, renowned for his brilliant Modernist and Brutalist designs – is fitting for many reasons. Spence’s utopian design, created around the idea of airy openness, shows knowledge (the library), art (the gallery) and community (the surrounding area) as entangled concepts through glass dividers and spiralling staircases that connect different areas of the building almost fluidly. Over the years, the Gallery has set up a rich and varied programme, hosting a mix of (inter)national collaborations, solo-shows and inclusive events. Exhibitions aim to highlight the best of Camden through its incredibly creative local arts community, as well as seeing the Borough through regional and occasionally inter/national eyes.

About Camden Kalā

This year Camden’s annual arts programme will celebrate the UK/India Year of Culture. Camden Kalā shines a spotlight on India’s vibrant heritage both within Camden and beyond. The programme will explore dance, music, film, academic text and the visual arts. Family workshops, walking tours, artists film screenings, yoga and food will all be featured. Local partners include: The Place, Central St. Martins, Akademi, Quiet Down There and others. International partners include Tarq (Mumbai).

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