The Guild at ART HK 13

K. P. Reji

Navjot Altaf

Praneet Soi

Ravi Agarwal

Sudhir Patwardhan

T. V. Santhosh


Booth 1D 30


23 - 26 May, 2013


Hongkong Exhibition and Convention Centre




“This work in many ways marks a continuation of my longstanding engagement with the politics and poetics of the everyday. At the same time my attempt is to engage with the ‘hidden’ dynamics of human action.  The performative acts in this work travel from the free play of children to the constitutive order of power.  They attempt to deconstruct the boundaries between the natural and the cultural (artificial), order and free play, and innocence and betrayal. At the same time, the work opens up the possibilities of co-existence of multiple worlds (a possible world in the dream of the sleeping kid vis-a-vis a betrayed world of togetherness). A world of wonder and surprise (the normative dream of / about childhood) is disfigured into the world of callousness by the act of hiding the frog in the lunch-box. Parallel to the actions in the foreground, there is a lateral in-activeness in the background through which the title of the painting Fishes under the Broken Bridge acquires resonance. What is common in the actions depicted in this work is the presence of certain deceitfulness - the very act of fishing, hiding the frog in the lunch-box, playing prank with the stringed cockroach and the sleeping boy and so on. In a broader sense, this work attempts to expose various technologies of power which constitute our notions regarding the self and the other.”- K. P. Reji.

K. P. Reji received his MFA from MSU Baroda. Reji was awarded the prestigious Sanskriti Award for the Young Artist-2007, Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi. He was invited for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India, 2012-13 and Jogja Biennale – ‘Shadow Lines’ curated by Suman Gopinath and Alia Swastika, 2011-12.   Reji’s selected group exhibitions include ‘Tolstoy Farm: Archive of  Utopia’, curated by Gayatri Sinha, New Delhi, 2011; ‘Roots in the Air, Branches Below: Modern & Contemporary Art from India’,  San Jose Museum of  Art, San Jose, 2011;  ‘Tough Love’, curated by Shaheen Merali, Plataforma  Revólver,  Lisbon, Portugal, 2010; ‘Snow’ curated by Ranjit Hoskote, The Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi in collaboration with Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2010; ‘Horn Please: Narratives in Contemporary Indian Art’, curated by Bernhard Fibicher and Suman Gopinath Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, 2007. His solo exhibitions being ‘With a Pinch of Salt’ at Nature Morte, New Delhi in collaboration with The Guild, 2009 and ‘Just Above My Head’, The Guild, Mumbai, 2006.




“‘Listening to the earth is one of the 7 sculptures from a series titled ‘In Response To’. It signifies that the earth transmits continuous sound frequencies but unlike animals we don't hear it.” – Navjot Altaf. 

“The video installation 'Touch IV', whose central protagonists are sex workers and members of the third gender community, is a culmination of Navjot's three-decade-long preoccupation with representing the voice of the subaltern in art. I would contend that at the core of Navjot's practice lies her unceasing awareness of being a linguistic subjectivity, an image-maker who nonetheless forms her social and political associations through language. Navjot has a deep commitment to language in all its various manifestations, its ability to unmask power asymmetry and the occlusion of truth, with its wager on multi-pronged articulation. But her commitment to language is held in counterpoint by her apprehension of being stalled by word-induced aporia, of being interpellated or otherwise reduced by language, of being trapped by language.

…In 'Touch IV', unlike earlier video installations like 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' or 'Pavan Kumar', Navjot's subaltern protagonists discussed and even at times dictated the terms of how they wished to be represented. In the Spivakian sense, Navjot has traversed the journey from the difficulties of inter-subjective communication, as immortalised in the question 'Can the subaltern speak?', to clearing the ground to make such speech-acts possible. This should not mislead the viewer into thinking that if the subaltern speaks, s/he will be automatically heard. As in Navjot's earlier works, the viewer has to make an effort to understand what is being enunciated, with 22 voices available on the headphones of television monitors.

These voices belong to people who are part of a movement of resistance against societal norms that consider their sex-work as a social aberration and their sexuality as deviant behaviour. Their solidarity has been manifested in a large 5000-member organisation, Sangram, which has been working with women's collectives on prostitution for the last 15 years…” (Excerpt from an essay by Nancy Adajania)


Navjot Altaf’s works have been shown in Yamuna.Elbe A public art project at the Yamuna in Delhi and the Elbe in Hamburg, curated by Ravi Agarwal (Delhi) and Till Krause (Hamburg); Lacuna in Testimony, Patricia and Phillip  Frost Art Museum, Florida, 2009;  Public Places Private Spaces,  Newark Museum, New York and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis 2008, curated by Gayatri Sinha and Paul Stern Berger;  Tiger by the Tail: Women Artists Transforming Culture,  Brandies University / Museum  Boston and New Brunswick Rutgers University, Douglass Library, Newark, 2008, curated by Wendy Tarlow Kaplan, Elinor W.Gadon and Roobina Karode; INDIA NOW: Contemporary Indian Art between Continuity and Transition,  Provincia di Milano,Italy, 2007, curated by Daniela Palazzoli; Zones of Contact, 15th Biennale of Sydney Australia, 2006, curated by Charles Merewether;   Groundworks, Carnegie Mellon University, (RMG) Pittsburgh, 2005; Another Passage To India, Theatre Saint-Gervais and Musee d’ Ethnographie, Geneva, Switzerland, 2004, curated by Pooja Sood; Zoom – Art in Contemporary India, Edificia Sede de  Caixo Garal de Depositos, Lisbon, 2004, curated by Luis Sepra and Nancy Adajania; Century City - Bombay/Mumbai: City Politics and Visual Culture in the 90’s, Tate Modern, London, 2001, curated by Geeta Kapoor and Ashish Rajadhyaksha; subTerrain:artworks in the cityfold, ,Haus der Kulteren der Welt, Berlin; 8th Havana Biennale, Cuba, 2003; Liminal Zones, Apeejay Media Gallerry, New Delhi, 2003, curated by Pooja Sood,; Solo exhibitions include:  ‘Touch IV’, Video Installation, Talwar Gallery, New Delhi and The Guild, Mumbai,  2010;Touch- Remembering Altaf’, Video and motor based sculpture Installation, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, 2008; ‘Water Weaving’, Video Installation, Talwar Gallery, New York, 2005; ‘Junctions 1 2 3’, The Guild, Mumbai, 2006 and Jagar Multimedia Installation, Sakshi Gallery Mumbai,2006; ‘A Place in New York’ an interactive photo based project, The Guild, Mumbai, 2010; Bombay Shots’, an interactive photo based project, The Guild, Mumbai, 2008, among others.




In his recent works, Praneet Soi explores the relationship between figuration and pattern formalism.

The works exhibited here approximate the artist’s studio wall, where this exploration brings into proximity seemingly disparate subject matter. Each work and their accumulation brings into play a series of forces and currents that generate new thoughts and images. The landscape, architecture, media and portraiture mesh together through this effort of image-making.

Image #1 - A study of building under construction in Mexico city. The use of architecture, reduced to a formalistic image and then inserted into what seems to be a human form. They are painted in Acrylic on linen.

Image Ia and Ib - These are views from the Brooklyn studio the artist rented when he first left India for the United States. The view is of the lower East Side of Manhattan. The sizes are reminiscent of the photograph,

IA is a Drawing in Silverpoint on paper and IB in Oil on Canvas

Image 2 - This is a composition made by fragmenting details from the Nokia Tower in Vilnius. Soi visited this city in 2010, when it was suffering from the economic downturn that began in 2009. The shiny new towers, built during the period before 2009, were now empty and for Soi this shiny edifice became a symbol of unchecked urbanism.

Image 3 - A further exploration of architectural space, this time as a free standing object. Acrylic on linen mounted on wood.

Image 4 - This image is a painting that was inspired by a Hussain drawing that adorned the facade of Pundole gallery in Mumbai. On an earthen ground, gridded out with faint white lines, the artist has placed images that are a part of his process and underline his concerns. The use of line and silhouettes is augmented with images that are fleshed out by the use of gentle pin-stroking, a technique created by the artist after observing frescoes in Italy. The floral detail in miniature on the right-hand side is a detail from the tomb of the Sufi Saint Bul Bul Sha in Srinagar, while the figures, in their source, range from the media,to linked photo-shoots in the artist’s studio.

Images A, B, C, D & E are from the artist’s archive.

A & B are images from the series Kumartuli  Apprentice, in which the artist worked with a printer in North Kolkata, drawing upon his collection of old plates in the making of composition to understand the working of an anachronistic Treadel Press that the printer operated daily.




“The technology of progress archives the debris of the past.”- Ravi Agarwal.

Ravi Agarwal is a photographer artist, writer, curator and environmental activist. He explores issues of urban space, ecology and capital in interrelated ways, working with photographs, video, performance, on-site installations and public art. Agarwal has participated in several international exhibitions including Documenta XI (Kassel 2002), Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); ‘Zones of Contact propositions for the Museum’, co-curated by Vidya Sivadas, Akansha Rastogi, Deeksha Nath, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida, 2013; ‘The Needle on the Gauge: The Testimonial Image in the works of Seven Indian Artists’,curated by Ranjit Hoskote, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide, Australia, 2012; ‘Newtopia’, curated by Katerina Gregos, various Museum venues, Mechelen, Belgium, 2012; ‘Critical Mass, Contemporary Art from India’, curated by  Rotem Ruff, Tel Aviv Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel, 2012; ‘ZNE!, Examples to Follow’, curated by Adrienne Goehler, traveling exhibition, Berlin, Mumbai, Adis Ababba, Beijing; ‘Horn Please,’ Kunstmuseum, Bern, 2007; ‘Indian Highway’ (2009); ‘Generation in Transition,’ National Gallery of Art, Warsaw & Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania; ‘The Eye is a Lonely Hunter, Images of Humankind,’ at Fotofestival Mannheim_ludwigshafen_Heidelberg; ‘After the Crash’ at Museo Orto Botanico, Rome; his recent solo show being ‘Of Value and Labour’, The Guild, Mumbai; ‘Flux: dystopia, utopia, heterotopia,’ Gallery Espace, New Delhi. Agarwal recently co-curated a twin city public art project, Yamuna-Elbe.Public.Art.Outreach. He writes extensively on ecological issues, and is also founder of the leading Indian environmental NGO, Toxics Link.




“Patwardhan’s brush appears sometimes to move faster than the image it is meant to render, leaving a swirl or swipe of paint across the picture surface. In consequence, many of his figures now emerge at the cusp between photography and abstraction.”

“Circling between the solitude of the studio and the sociality demanded by any engagement with humankind at large; immuring himself in the archive yet also launching forward on journeys of exploration, Sudhir Patwardhan has built for himself (and  for us, his viewers) a mobile observatory of human affairs.” - Ranjit Hoskote.

“Sudhir prefers to tell his stories through images. But moving into his sixties he now knows that the desire to tell stories and to pass on one’s experience to the next generation is an innate human need rather than an individual trait. Transmitting stories is like transmitting one’s DNA; it keeps a part of us alive through a chain of memories we inscribe onto the minds of those who come after us.”

“With the mechanization of transport, travelling has also become periods of bodily inaction — the inactive body is carried through the world, and the world travels by but it is not seen. The world becomes a blur and the window becomes a mirror. The inactive traveler sinks into thought and multiplies herself internally; the window reflects her and multiplies her externally for the observant eyes of fellow travelers, sometimes clearly and sometimes as a blurred element in a madly overwritten image of the world.” – R. Siva Kumar.

Sudhir Patwardhan was born in 1949. He graduated in medicine from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune.  His selected museum shows include ‘Social Fabric’, curated by Grant Watson, INIVA, London; Lunds Konsthall, Lund, Sweden; Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2012); ‘Modernist Art from India’, curated by Beth Citron, Rubin Museum, New York (2011); ‘Modern Indian Art- The Ethos of Modernity’, Sichuan Museum, Shenzhen Museum, Zhejiang Museum, China (2010); ‘ReVisions, Indian Artists Engaging Tradition’, curated by Susan Bean, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, USA (2009); ‘Horn Please – Narratives in Contemporary Indian Art’, curated by Bernhard Fibicher and Suman Gopinath, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (2007). Recently Patwardhan had a solo exhibition, ‘Route Maps’ at The Guild (2012).  His other solo exhibitions include ‘Exhibition of Drawings’, Jehangir Art Gallery, 2012; ‘Family Fiction’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2011); ‘The Crafting of Reality’, The Guild, Mumbai (2008).

A monograph on his work, ‘The Complicit Observer’ written by Ranjit Hoskote, was published in 2004. This was followed in 2007 by another book by Ranjit Hoskote  on Patwardhan’s drawings – ‘The Crafting of Reality’. This is tranaslated into Marathi as ‘Rekhachitravichar’, published in 2012.  A monograph in Marathi, written by Padmakar Kulkarni was published in 2005.  Anjali Monteiro and K.P.Jaysankar have made a film on the artist, along with the work of the poet Narayan Surve, titled ‘Saacha’, in 2001.





T. V. Santhosh’s works are the outcome of his engagement with the images of ongoing and changing nature of war, memory and perception. His works employ the linguistic devices of color codes, positive negative image inversions and are subsequently a mapping of social unrest and its political implications through the constructions of multiple layers of metaphors that investigate the evolving histories of the nature of war, human rights and citizenship.

Born in Kerala, T.V. Santhosh obtained his graduate degree in painting from Santiniketan and Masters degree in Sculpture from M. S. University, Vadodara. Santhosh’s works have been shown widely in Museums and Biennales. Some of the museum shows include: ‘WAR ZONE – Indian Contemporary Art’, ARTEMONS CONTEMPORARY,  Das Kunstmuseum, Austria, 2012; ‘Critical Mass: Contemporary Art from India’, curated by Tami Katz-Freiman and  Rotem Ruff, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel, 2012; 11th Havanna Biennial, 2012; ‘INDIA- LADO A LADO’, curated by Tereza de Arruda, SESC  Belenzinho Sao Paulo, Brazil 2012; ‘India’, curated by Pieter Tjabbes and Tereza de Arruda, Centro Cultural Banco do  Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2011; 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, ‘Rewriting Worlds’, curated by Peter Weibel, 2011; ‘In Transition New Art from India’, Surrey Museum of Art, Canada, 2011; Collectors’ Stage: Asian Contemporary Art from Private Collections, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore, 2011; ‘Crossroads: India Escalate’, Prague Biennale 5, 2011; ‘Empire Strikes Back’, The Saatchi Gallery, London, 2010; ‘The Silk Road, New Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern Art’ from The Saatchi Gallery at Tri Postal, Lille, France, 2010; Vancouver Biennale curated by Barry Mowatt, 2010; ‘Dark Materials’, curated by David Thorp, G S K Contemporary show, at Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2009; ‘India Xianzai’, MOCA, Shanghai, China, 2009; ‘Passage to India, Part II: New Indian Art from the Frank Cohen Collection’, at Initial Access, Wolverhampton, UK, 2009; ‘Aftershock, Conflict, Violence and Resolution in Contemporary Art’,  Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA Norwich, 2007; ‘Continuity and Transformation’, Museum show promoted by Provincia di Milano, Italy, 2007. His solo shows include ‘The Land’, Nature Morte, Berlin in collaboration with The Guild, Mumbai, 2011; ‘Burning Flags’, Aicon Gallery, London in collaboration with The Guild, 2010; ‘Blood and Spit’, Jackshainman Gallery in collaboration with The Guild, 2009; ‘Living with a Wound’, Grosvenor Vadehra, London in collaboration with The Guild, 2009; ‘A Room to Pray’ at Avanthay Contemporary, Zurich, in collaboration with The Guild, Mumbai, 2008; ‘Countdown’, Nature Morte, Delhi in collaboration with The Guild, Mumbai, 2008 and many more.


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