‘India Art Fair’
Baiju Parthan, Raghava K K, Shilo Shiv Suleman & Smriti Dixit
January 2020

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Art Musings participated in the 2020 edition of the India Art Fair, held in Delhi. The booth # C 07 featured works by Baiju Parthan, Smriti Dixit, Raghava K K and Shilo Shiv Suleman.

Baiju Parthan is a pioneer of new media art in India, his hybrid works combining online and offline technologies. Parthan presented ‘Yesterday’s Monument – City of Dreams’, an animated 3D lenticular print, drawing us into the cycles of boom and slump, aspiration and disappointment, innovation and obsolescence that define metropolitan Indian life. Also on view were The ‘Wheel of Fortune’ series which borrow the symbolism of the tenth card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot which intimates the arrival of unexpected changes in the present and immediate future.

Raghava K K is a multidisciplinary artist including painting, installation and performance. ‘The Impossible Bouquet’ series is inspired by the Dutch tradition of still life where flowers are collected from different seasons to create an impossible bouquet. The artist draws parallels between this and the condition of being Indian – an impossible democracy. A space where seemingly conflicting entities like cartoons, memes, historical characters coexist, creating a harmonious impossible sense of beauty.

Shilo Shiv Suleman is an artist whose work is sustained by commitments to poetry, technology and social justice. In this series of paintings and wearable sculptures, Shilo imagines a safe and sacred space for women far above the earth. She begs the mythical creature – ‘Buraq, take me with you’. Buraq, in Islamic tradition, was said to be the vehicle of the prophet to the seventh heavens. In these works, the women begin to evolve to grow wings to fly into another place far away from here.

Smriti Dixit has long been committed to processes of recycling in her art, incorporating fabric, found objects, plastic price tags and other elements of the detritus of everyday life into her art-works. Dixit presents ‘Seri’ a trilogy of works, each achieved through a process of meditative slowing down – in defiance of the current obsession with speed. ‘Silkworm’ consists of cocoons made from plastic price tags, suggesting the gestation that produces a fine fabric. Using the knitting process, price tags are once again the raw material for ‘Ripening’, a homage to the Lodoicea, a precious tree that flowers only after it has reached 100 years. ‘Red Pupa’ is the product of intensive stitching, and is a hymn to the cocoon.