14 December - 28 February 2018
By Ayesha Singh
Curated by Reha Sodhi
Mumbai Art Room’s new Curatorial Lab launches with Ghost Lines, a show curated by Delhi based curator Reha Sodhi, who was selected through a nomination process by the Lab’s newly formed Curatorial Advisory Committee. Ghost Lines is an exhibition of artworks by Ayesha Singh, an emerging Indian artist currently based in Chicago.
Mumbai is a dynamic, ever-evolving city that weaves the linguistic, cultural and regional identities of its inhabitants into a heterogeneous, multi-cultural fabric of the city. It can also be seen as a living entity that constantly adapts, evolves and synthesizes these identities to create new practices and expressions.
Within this rapidly growing entity lie gems of historical architectural, where time pauses. Mumbai displays a multitude of European styles with many eras amply represented, including Neo-Classical, Victorian and Gothic styles of architecture, along with hybrid architecture such as Bombay Gothic, Indo-Saracenic and Deco-Saracenic. These new forms emerged as a combination of different architectural styles improvised by local architects and craftsman to suit Mumbai’s climate, resources and sensibilities. The exhibition Ghost Lines re-looks into the details of architectural forms that contain the city's past and trigger personal and collective memories through the lens of Delhi-based artist Ayesha Singh.
Ayesha’s interest in post-colonial architecture reveals a study of buildings constructed with appropriated features and fragments. In this exhibition she focuses on columns seen in Mumbai. The artist uses different mediums – photography, drawing, sculpture and video – to respond to notions of time, space, history, identity and aspiration in quotidian architectural forms. Through the minimal use of line, she introduces reconfigured columns within the gallery that create an architectural and spatial experience animated by the viewer’s movement. By amalgamating ornamental fragments from Mumbai's rich heritage architecture and incorporating facets of well-known structures in one composition, Ayesha re-imagines them through new perspectives.
Reha Sodhi is a curator and graphic designer based in New Delhi, India. She was the curatorial assistant for Whorled Explorations, at Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 and has previously worked with Devi Art Foundation, Gujral Foundation, Eka Resources and Raking Leaves on projects including A brush with life (2016), My East is Your West (2015-16), Elephant in the Dark (2012), Homespun (2011), Vernacular in the Contemporary (2010-11), Resemble Reassemble (2010) and The One Year Drawing Project (2009). Her past exhibition design projects include The Skoda Prize at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India; Time Unfolded at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India and Raja Deen Dayal at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, India. In 2016 she received a fellowship for the International Curators Programme at the 7th Glasgow International, Scotland.
Ayesha Singh (b.1990, New Delhi) is currently based in Chicago pursuing an MFA in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), USA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Sculpture, from the Slade School of Fine Art (2013) and received a diploma in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, UK (2010). She has exhibited solo shows at the Gujral Foundation, New Delhi, India (2017); Exhibit320, New Delhi, India (2016); and has participated in several group shows including Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK (2017); Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai, India (2017); Hyde Park Art Centre, Chicago, USA (2017); IGNCA, New Delhi, India (2015); Casa de Dona Gisele, Curitiba, Brazil (2015); GallerySke, New Delhi, India (2014); University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK (2014); and Reading University, Reading, UK (2013). Singh is the recipient of the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative Grant from the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, along with the Dean’s Professional Development Award and the International Student Scholarship, both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA.