Origins of a Perennial Bouquet
Curated by Bose Krishnamachari
Benitha Perciyal | Manish Nai | Sudarshan Shetty | Sumedh Rajendran | Tanya Goel
December 17, 2020 - February 28, 2021
“I think of this gathering of practices as an exploration of well-informed materiality. Each practice is distinct, but presents deep and inventive understandings of the relation between material, medium, process, time and idea. I trust that the threads of aesthetics and craftsmanship explored in these material-laboratories will create a bouquet of perennial pleasure."
– Bose Krishnamachari, Curator
Born in 1978, Benitha Perciyal hails from Thiruvanamalai, which illustrates her affinity towards work that is firmly rooted in the Christian faith. Her practice encapsulates the use of primarily organic materials, with a strong focus on those that induce olfactory experiences like myrrh, cinnamon, frankincense and more. Her sculptures are solely made of organic compounds that slow down the process of creation, while enabling a certain perpetuity to its ‘becoming’. Fast-paced, manufactured modernity is resisted here, with use and re-use being the norm for materials like wood, resin and coal. Her work has been widely exhibited in group and solo shows in galleries in London, Dubai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi. Her airy, spacious studio, which is located in Chennai, is the site of her work - an ode to memory, faith and transcendence.
Manish Nai received a Diploma in Drawing and Painting from the L.S. Raheja School of Art in Mumbai. Using material that is both modest and quintessentially Indian, like jute and newspaper, Nai’s pieces are studies in tedious complexities that, once completed, are presented as a tightly organized unit. His studies echo a childhood spent gaining an intimate understanding of these materials with his father, who was a trader of thick jute and other packing material.
He has had solo exhibitions at Kavi Gupta (2019); Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris (2019); Galerie Karsten Greve, St. Moritz (2018); Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai (2018); Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne (2018); and Galerie Karsten Greve, St. Moritz (2014); among others. He has also exhibited his work at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York (2019); Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2019); Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2019); Para Site, Hong Kong (2018); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2018); The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur (2017); and at Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2017) in recent years. In 2014, Nai was also selected for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India.
Shetty’s work explores the fundamental ontological challenges presented by our immersion in a world of objects. His installations are developed around a rigorous grammar of materials, mechanical exposure and unlikely juxtapositions of things that may belong to culturally distinct spheres. He is well known for enigmatic, large-scale installations in which physical objects are composed and juxtaposed in unfamiliar ways. His work can be described as a theatrical mediator for contemplating loss, emptiness and regeneration. In his recent work, Sudarshan has actively engaged with other older artistic forms, including poetry and writing, music and architecture. His current engagement with the medium of moving image, considers the distinctions between action on-screen and off-screen, the real and the imagined, the traditional and the contemporary.
In a career spanning more than three decades, Sudarshan has exhibited widely, at some of the most prominent and prestigious international and Indian venues. The artist turned curator for the third edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2016, and the Serendipity Arts Festival, 2019.
Hailing from Trivandrum, Sumedh Rajendran completed his BFA from College of Fine Arts in 1994 and MFA from Delhi College Of Art in 1999. Contradictory values and social apathy find themselves juxtaposed in his works, which are composite in nature. Through the usage of industrialized materials like ceramic tiles, leather, tin sheets, cans, rubber, cement, concrete, and steel, Rajendran dissolves notions of boundaries between entities, turning them into chimeras of meaning. His work is known for providing a fresh perspective into sculpture and recontextualizing its relevance to the world of contemporary Indian art. By his own admission, he wishes his work to transcend boundaries and find meaning in a common space, regardless of cultural context. Rajendran has exhibited widely in group shows in Berlin, Delhi, Taipei, Mumbai and Kochi. He was a participant at the first edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2012 and also in the exhibition 'India Awakens: Under the Banyan Tree' at the Essl Museum, Austria.
Tanya Goel’s works are notable for their exploration of a rigorous abstraction that is deeply invested in the process of their creation. Born in 1985, Goel studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda and at SAIC, Chicago, before completing her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Yale University in 2010. Her work has been exhibited at galleries Nature Morte and Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in addition to being included in the collections of museums in New Delhi, Philadelphia, Alberta, Zurich and more. With a focus on textured pigments, Goel utilizes a diverse array of materials from urban climes (aluminum, concrete, glass, soil, mica, graphite and foils) in order to accentuate the effect of light on them. Repetition, density and complexity characterise her work, where these meticulously selected elements bring forth artwork that is forever in a state of flux.
About Bose Krishnamachari
Artist and independent curator Bose Krishnamachari lives and works between Mumbai and Kochi. His diverse artistic and curatorial practice includes contemporary art, design and sciences. He is the co-founder of the Kochi Biennale Foundation and its founding President. He was Artistic Director and Co-Curator of India’s first Biennale – The Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012, and Director of Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021. Krishnamachari curated ‘For an Image, Faster than Light’, the first edition of the Yinchuan Biennale in Yinchuan, MOCA, China-2016. ‘The Mirror Sees Best in the Dark’ (2019-2020) was his most recent solo exhibition at the Emami Art Gallery, Kolkata. His column, ‘Everyone is a Camera’ appeared in The Week magazine for 3 years. He is a Board Member of the International Biennale Association and an Academic Board Member of the Taoxichuan China Arts and Sciences project. He has won many national and international fellowships and awards, and has served on the jury for many international and national institutional curatorial and artist awards. Krishnamachari is also an educator, known for his patronage of young Indian artists.