Indian contemporary artist Jitish Kallat and a multi-discipline art collective Raqs Media Collective will represent India at the first Asian edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong from May 23-26. On display will be two installations depicting the country's evolving urban landscape. The artworks will be among the 17 being showcased at Encounters—the inaugural exhibition—as announced on Monday.
Raqs Media Collective will explore living spaces in India through their installation A Different Gravity presented by Mumbai-based Project 88. They will use a table, chair, mirror and a carpet to convey the abstract "layout of a room where anything can happen". The Collective said that the idea behind the installation was one of "anticipation, symbolic of the uncertainty that defines Indian urban life".
Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat will try to capture the transitory nature of the metropolis with his 2011 installation Circa. The 120-part bamboo sculpture will look like a mammoth scaffolding depicting that Mumbai is meshed in a "state of perennial development". The installation will be presented by Gallery Arndt of Berlin.
The inaugural exhibition will offer a strong representation of galleries from Hong Kong, exhibited alongside projects from India, Japan, Korea, mainland China, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Britain, Art Basel said. The exhibits will range from sculptures in the traditional media such as marble, wood and bronze, to installations with audience participation. The artworks will experiment with material and post-conceptual ideas of return to natural existence as against the technological progress, which is taking a toll on the environment and shrinking the green cover. The large sculptures will span over five metres in height and occupy over 70 sq m of space.
Japanese artist Takuma Uematesu will use agate—a semi precious stone—set in shards of mirror to create chandeliers of reflections in an installation Noosphere. Chinese artist Chen Zhen will explore the earth's physical forces in his natural media installation, Le Rit e Suspendue/Mouille with disparate material including metal, plexiglass, water, earth, sand, found objects and pigment.
Chinese artist Qin Chong will arrange 18 six-metre-high paper scrolls with paintings in soot in a giant installation to connect life with design in an era when art spills into everyday existence to create new contiguity between the two. Guan Huaibin, another Chinese artist, will sculpt a three-metre-high inflatable sculpture of a garden rock that will expand and contract to recreate the act of breathing.
The exhibition will be curated by Yuko Hasegawa, the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and the curator of Sharjah Biennial 13.
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