Redefining ceramics: Indian Ceramics Triennale starts in Delhi this week : The Tribune India

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Redefining ceramics: Indian Ceramics Triennale starts in Delhi this week

Redefining ceramics: Indian Ceramics Triennale starts in Delhi this week

On display will be works by Asish Chowdhury.



Monica Arora

The second edition of the Indian Ceramics Triennale is based upon the theme ‘Common Ground’ and comes nearly six years after the inaugural edition held in Jaipur in 2018. The Triennale (January 19-March 31) will be hosted at Arthshila, a fresh cultural hub in New Delhi, besides some extended shows at the India Art Fair in February and at Triveni Kala Sangam’s Shridharani Gallery.

It is based upon the idea that while we are separated by histories, cultures, geographies, privileges, etc, across the country and the world, the overarching humanity keeps us connected. The exhibition is an exploration of this binding thread. It is curated as a dialogue or conversation between the past, present and future, of materials and methodology, and of the link between tradition and technical innovations.

On display will be works by Abir Patwardhan.

The second edition of the Indian Ceramics Triennale — much delayed owing to the pandemic — has been designed as a visual and experiential panorama that showcases the diversity of clay as a potent medium for creating art that manifests in the form of artefacts, sculptures, installations and more. On display will be 34 projects created by more than 60 artists from India and abroad, hailing from 12 countries, including the United States and Australia.

The selection and shortlisting of participating artists has been done through a rigorous process to ensure that the best of the best showcase their clay art at this seminal event. Some of the co-founders and co-curators include names like Anjani Khanna, Madhvi Subrahmanian, Neha Kudchadkar, Vineet Kacker, Reyaz Badaruddin, Sharbani Das Gupta, Kanika Anand and Sangeeta Kapila. Most of them are internationally acclaimed ceramicists and bring a flavour of their unique experiments with materials and forms to the fore.

On display will be works by Birender Yadav.

The Triennale’s inclusive programming includes an interesting line up of symposiums, artist demonstrations, film screenings, workshops and so on to enable the audiences to deep dive into the rich ceramic artworks and their related stories that hail from diverse regions. Each creation has a fresh perspective, a fresh narrative.

The participating artists include well-known names like Ankon Mitra, Revati Jayakrishnan, Asish Chowdhury, Astha Butail, Awdhesh Tamrakar, Birender Kumar Yadav, Parag Tandel, Dhruvi Acharya and many more.

Kolkata-based Asish Chowdhury deploys clay as a medium to analyse and question the complexities and harsh realities of modern life. Artist Astha Butail’s deep study of oral traditions and historical methods of archiving imbues an element of spirituality and sociology to her oeuvre. Contemporary artist Birender Kumar Yadav’s work is derived from his cultural and personal influences and he likes to dwell upon the aftermath of urban growth and the damages inflicted on the natural environment, thereby making his work a powerful statement to the narrative of climate change and global warming.

Dhruvi Acharya is known better for her paintings but has also worked with clay as a medium. Her works examine the myriad dimensions of the emotional makeup of an urban woman and how she copes with the world around her that is brimming with violence, class divides, and pollution. Artist Ankon Mitra is also an architect and Revati Jayakrishnan also works as a designer and educator, besides being a practising artist.

In the words of Sharbani Das Gupta: “We use the non-verbal quality of art to connect, to bypass divisions that language and history confer.” Neha Kudchadkar sums it up thus: “The Triennale is a coming together of people, ideas, energies and forms to create something bigger than ourselves — that can only be created by treading together gently, curiously, forcefully on this uneven ground we share.”

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “We shape clay into pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.” Here is a celebration of clay that is drawn from life itself.


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