ronny sen, rithika merchant and soghra khurasani
this burning land belongs to you
swiss cottage gallery, 2017
this burning land belongs to you
swiss cottage gallery, 2017
Image: Ronny Sen Jharia, The End 57, 2016
In partnership with TARQ Mumbai, this exhibition showed works of artists Ronny Sen, Rithika Merchant and Soghra Khurasani. Each artist makes work about the India of today, highlighting and examining its contemporary moment. Through printmaking, photography and painting they reflects on the land, on how domestic and international conflicts complicate our relationship with the ground on which we live. This burning land belongs to you was about our ideas of space, environment and conflicts. Ronny’s photographs showed the environmental degradation that has made life unliveable in some parts of the world. Soghra questioned the changing conditions for minorities in the place of their birth. Rithika looked at migration – can moving from one place to the other save us?
TARQ is Sanskrit for "discussion, abstract reasoning, logic and cause." TARQ is a contemporary art gallery in Mumbai, founded in 2014 and dedicated to growing a conversation around art from a diverse range of contexts. Located at Dhanraj Mahal, one of Mumbai's iconic Art Deco buildings a stone's throw away from the Gateway of India, TARQ is spread over two floors. Their focus is on maintaining close relationships with artists and patrons and to encourage thoughtful acquisitions of art. TARQ shows art that is process driven and provoking. Apart from their regular shows, TARQ is also committed to building an educational structure that enables the art community to grow through thought, discussion and action.
About the Artists
Rithika Merchant (1986) deals with creating mosaics of myths that question the histories that are available to us throughout culture. An inherent feminism exists in her decoration, undermining the minimalism of modernity that views a woman just as a muse. Her works are also an exploration of epics and myths across geography. Derived from an attempt at self-discovery and aimed towards solving contemporary strife created by what we may describe as a conflict of civilizations, which is negated by locating a mythical strain of unanimity.
Merchant graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has studied painting and conceptual practice at the Hellenic International Studies In The Arts in Paros, Greece. She has also been artist in residence at the Convento São Francisco Mertola in Mertola, Portugal (2008) and Arthouse Wolfsberg/Garana (2012 and 2016).
She has had two solo showings in Mumbai, Origin of Species in 2011, followed by Mythography in 2013. Recent exhibitions include a solo show Encyclopaedia of the Strange at Tiny Griffon Gallery, Nuremberg, a duo show Reliquaries: The Remembered Self at TARQ, Mumbai, Language of the Birds: Occult and Art at 80WSE Gallery, New York, as well as group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. She had her debut solo show Luna Tabulatorum at Stephen Romano Gallery in 2015, as well as her debut solo show in Madrid Intersections at Galeria Combustion Espontanea in 2016. Born in Bombay she now divides her time between Bombay and Barcelona.
Ronny Sen (1986) was born in Silchar, Assam. In the early 90’s he moved with his family to Salt Lake City in Calcutta where he still lives and works. He made his first artist book titled Khmer Din in 2013. Sen represented India at the World Young Artists Event in Nottingham (2012) and was the recipient of the Jenesys Creators’ Programme for an artist residency in Japan, on invitation by The Japan Foundation (2012). His work was part of the exhibition In Secrecy at the Art Heritage gallery (2011). He was invited for a masterclass at the University of California in Berkeley and won the first prize at the MFI Awards (2014).
Sen has photographed the Indian General Elections in 2014 for the United Nations and Fabrica, Italy. In 2015, the Polish Institute invited him to be an artist-in-residence in Poland which resulted in two solo residency exhibitions at gallery Tarq in Mumbai and Latitude 28 in New Delhi. His works were part of the exhibition Abandon, presented by the Gujral Foundation (2015). His photographs are included in the permanent collection of the Alkazi Collection of Photography. In the year 2016, he won the Getty Images Instagram Grant for his work End of Time in the Jharia coal mines, which were exhibited at Noorderlicht Festival’s show Arena at the Belvedere Museum, Netherlands and at Photoville in New York. He published is second book End Of Time with Nazar Monographs in 2017. He is working on his next book and his first feature film.
Soghra Khurasani (b. 1983) is an artist based in Vadodara (India), though she was born and raised in Visakhapatnam – a coastal town in the south of India. She holds a Master’s degree in printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Art, Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara (2010), and an undergraduate degree in painting from the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India (2008).
Khurasani’s solo shows of note include her most recent exhibition Lay in the Midst of Local at Gallery OED, Kochi (Kerala),2016, preceded by Cratered Fiction, curated by Sumesh Sharma at TARQ, Mumbai (2015); her debut show One Day it Will Come Out, a collaborative project by Clark House Initiative and TARQ, Mumbai, curated by Sumesh Sharma and Hena Kapadia (2014); Reclaiming Voices, curated by Noman Ammouri at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Hyderabad (2014); and To Speak for the Mute at the Gitler & _ gallery, New York (2015). Her group exhibitions of note are Lay in Midst of Local, Gallery OED, Kochi (India); Memento Mori at TARQ, Mumbai (2015); Regional Art Exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi, Chennai (2014); Multiple Encounters, AIFACS, New Delhi (2013); Visual Evidence at Clark House Initiative, Mumbai (2013); and Interstices— a collateral project for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2012. She has also participated in several residencies such as the Iran-India Exchange Program in collaboration with Kooshk, Tehran and Khoj Association, New Delhi (2016); the Religare Arts Residency in New Delhi (2011) and the Lalit Kala Akademi’s National Printmaking Camp in Vadodara (2012).
Khurasani has been the recipient of the National Academy Award granted by the Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi (2015) and the Kala Sakshi Memorial Trust Award, New Delhi.