#VocalForLocal: The New Artists That Should Be On Your Radar, According To Gallerists
Art can be transformative, not just in how it changes the space it occupies, but also by provoking thoughts and conversations. If you’ve been on the lookout for new ways to be inspired, we asked some of the city’s prominent gallerists for their picks of the best upcoming talent in the art world right now.
Priyanka Raja, Co-founder and director, Experimenter, Kolkata and Mumbai
Biraaj is a brilliant artist and possibly one of this country’s finest from her generation. There’s a very solid, restrained, considered approach to her thinking, which I thoroughly enjoy. She’s interested in nocturnal landscapes, dark, dream-like spaces that she navigates through her restrained, nuanced approach. Her work is rooted in literature, in poetry, in history—and that to me is very interesting. Experimenter Colaba will present her second solo in November in Bombay.
Soumya Sankar Bose
Again, one of the finest young photographers in our country, really pushing the boundaries of his practice. The reason I’m particularly interested in Soumya’s work is because he uses time as a material within his works, most of his projects are five to six years long. He roots himself in this idea of recreating forensically, incidents that have happened in the past, to be able to retell history. He’s also currently the first artist of our generation to make a whole film on VR (virtual reality)… you enter the photograph and you’re walking around, experiencing [scenes of] what may have happened, all of which have been recreated. I think it’s quite revolutionary in the way he’s thinking of image-making and image experience.
Tara Lal, Director, Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai
Arshi Irshad Ahmadzai
I was drawn to Arshi’s practice at about the time that she was a recipient of the Inlaks Award in 2019. At that point in time, her practice was focused on the role of women, particularly those that are bound within religious orthodoxies. Whilst this remains a preoccupation, she has also developed a strong interest in built spaces and their relationship to history, in particular with reference to Kabul. Her work is often inspired by the texts of various poets and philosophers. For her debut solo show, we have exhibited works at Chatterjee & Lal that Arshi managed to bring with her from Afghanistan after the Taliban’s siege of Kabul. She refers to these works as relics, and I am struck by both their beauty and also the poignancy of their journey across borders.
Atyaan Jungalwala & Sunaina Rajan, Co-founders, Chemould CoLab, Mumbai
Mungi is a ceramic artist based in Bombay. Her work is inspired by organic forms in nature and human body parts. All these forms are fluidly interwoven into each other to create these forms. She uses candy-coloured slips that highlight details that are meticulously created. She was the first artist who showed with us for the opening exhibition of our space. Her playful use of colour, which brought these organic forms together in a very whimsical manner, was something we were really drawn to.
Singh is a soft sculpture artist based in Chandigarh. His work expresses his queer identity and borrows inspiration from life around him. He narrates stories using new or found fabrics, with a mix of beads and sequins. The works tell stories about life and people around him through the playful characterization of his heads. During the summer and monsoon, he did a residency with us at the space. Living in Bombay for almost four months brought a lot of new experiences to his life that came through in his work. His show opens with us on November 10 at our space Chemould CoLab. This exhibition will showcase all the works he made during the [Mumbai] residency.