Experience The Chronicling Of A Community With Parag Tandel | Verve Magazine
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September 01, 2016

Experience The Chronicling Of A Community With Parag Tandel

Text by Huzan Tata

The artist’s solo show of sculptures bring to life his childhood memories as a member of the Koli community

(Click on any image to view in larger gallery.)

For Mumbai-based artist Parag Tandel, the changes in the city’s seascape and skyline are essential to his practice, and his life. In his third solo show, Chronicle, the creator works with resin to make striking, translucent sculptures that pique one’s fancy. Focusing on themes of ecology and migration, the works seem as though they are types of sea creatures, both real and imagined. Says Tandel about the use of materials in his art, “My work stems from the idea of using found objects, to reuse them, and then construct fresh entities…. I have grown up listening to chronicles of the past, which, for me, are almost fable-like and imaginative; I sense after years these fables are beginning to mount into myth, they are transforming into layers similar to the residue structures in our minds.”  

5 Questions with the artist, Parag Tandel

1. Artistic motivations: “What I perceive around me, of the scenery I live around. I lie in the picture of a choking kiosk, through the use of objects of daily use from my childhood. They highlight the changes that arise around my community – the Koli community – and around Mumbai, as a result of unparalleled growth.”

2. Inspirations: “As far as my art practice is concerned, I am inspired by Bombay as a city — it is thriving; nobody can stop it from growing the way it has; it has found its ways to thrive, no matter what odds it faces.”

3. On the wall at home: “I like the works of Subodh Gupta, Rachel Whiteread, Prajakta Potnis, the Warli artist Jivya Soma Mashe, and the Indian miniature artist Revashankar Sharma.”

4. Concerns that find a place in your art: “The growth of capitalism. I am just acting as a mediator between what I see and what is shown to us; I am not an activist, I am an artist. I am inquiring into the historical as well as the contemporary days of the fishermen of my community.”

5. If not an artist, you would be… “I would have sold dried fish! My mother did this for 52 years, and was working since she was ten years old. I spent most of my time at my mother’s shop.”

Chronicle is on display at Tarq, Mumbai (F 35/36 Dhanraj Mahal, CSM Marg, Apollo Bunder) until September 10, 2016

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