Imagine but adapt – the creative ideas of ceramic artist Khanjan Dalal, Tao Art Gallery
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Mumbai’s Tao Art Gallery, in collaboration with Ahmedabad-based 079 Stories Art Center, presents the exhibition Speech by Khanjan Dalal. In conclusion this weekend, this is the gallery’s first physical exhibit after the lockdown, with physical distancing and other security measures like masking and pre-registration for a scheduled visit.
Khanjan worked with several ideas using clay, from functional styles to sculptural styles. An element of speech runs through his series of works, based on formats like speech bubbles and even chat boxes. His works are titled A Portrait, Ephemeral Entity, and Armor, among others.
The wall sculptures are crafted from gas fired ceramics and evoke the recorded cacophony of information overload. Other works have for theme samurai culture, with the ethics of heroism and sacrifice. Some of the works are priced at Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh.
“Clay is something that fascinates me! I would say I explore clay using various techniques and methods, ”says Khanjan, in a conversation with Your story.
Solitary is a work inspired by an iconic painting by an American multidisciplinary artist, Robert Rauschenberg. “He represented a seagull sitting on a pole overlooking the ocean with fish. It makes me want to think about how we look at the world as if we are ready to consume it as a product, ”says Khanjan.
Tao Art Gallery
Another work is enigmatically titled IM2C2E. “It is the acronym of I’m too complicated to explain. This is derived from my personal experiences and the type of social discourse that prevails in our society, ”he describes.
The anecdote is based on a conversation he once had in Auroville, when asked in Gujarati, Tamhe Keva (what caste are you)? “I have been asked this question several times in the past. I usually respond by saying that I’m too complicated to explain“, says Khanjan.
He sees success as an artist in converting the seed of an idea into a tangible result using a range of materials and techniques. “This pure joy experienced is my definition of success,” he enthuses.
Despite the pandemic shutdowns, Khanjan continued to create works of art in his studio. “However, one thing I couldn’t do was turn on my oven because it takes nine hours to complete the process. So I alternated with a technique called Raku, where you can bake a piece of ceramic in three hours, ”he explains.
“My work is a continuous process and I prefer to continue working whatever the circumstances. says Khanjan. He plans a new range of functional ceramic parts in the coming months.
It also calls for a greater appreciation of art in Indian society. “It is necessary to introduce students to ceramics, photography, weaving and many other various art forms. This will engender an inherent attitude towards Art appreciation among people of a nascent stage, ”he suggests.
Museums and public institutions must also foster a positive attitude towards the appreciation of art. He offers advice to budding artists.
“Always be motivated. Be careful. Don’t follow the trends, ”Khanjan concludes.
Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new avenues for your creative core?
The Box series
Speech at Tao Art Gallery
Treasure of Loyal Thoughts
Series 1 box
Series 2 box
IM2C2E (I’m too complicated to explain)
Khanjan Dalal with artistic director Sanjana Shah
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(All images courtesy of Artist and Tao Art Gallery)