Creating the odd
The city will get to see some extraordinary talent at Gallery Escape by bringing the solo exhibition Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron-Redux by Chintan Upadyay.
Upadhyay has used second hand knitted garments to create a metaphor for the faceless people of our city. He converts the gallery space into what looks like a conjuncted and overcrowded market in Delhi. The walls and floor of the gallery replete with sculptural installations and photographs of faceless forms and figures in stuffed woollen garments. In the show, there is a seven-feet-long sweater he has created in collaboration with his mother.
His art practice has remained focused on ideas of mass production, production of desires and colossal wastes and mechanical artificiality of modern landscapes.
'I have been working with site-specific projects since over a decade. In 2010-11, I was working in El Salvador on a residency project where I asked residents to give me their second-hand clothes. The works made with this cloth and filled with sand were installed on the beach and soon the entire area looks like a land inundated with bodies. There has always been a sense of death in my work, though not in a morbid way. Even the baby sculptures that I have done for the last few years are never alive, they will never talk and they are genetically controlled but there is so much life going around them. The idea of working with second hand clothes came from there . When asked to work on this show last year, I knew I could create another site-specific story', shares Upadhyay.
Just like his baby sculptures which have a multitude of narratives imprinted on them, his present works too are multi-layered. On one hand, the artiste seeks to talk about the dignity of labour, and about those invisible people we do not notice in our daily lives. And on the other, he questions the faceless façade of an urban space and city life where we are all strangers scared of each other’s strangeness.
All his work is created by stitching dozens of woollen clothes together, or using photographs of a person whose face and entire body has been concealed with a woollen garment or even small boxes stuffed with toy-like woollen shapes. There is a sense of both the bizarre and the obvious.
Asked if he has the urge to create another baby figure, he says, 'These works have a similar childlike and playful projection, although with a dark shade. The boxes with stuffed garments are like toys. So in a way these metaphors are not divorced from the spirit of my previous works'.
When: till 31 May
Where: Gallery Espace , New Friends Colony