Walsh Gallery

Vivan Sundaram: Trash

Master Plansplash

Dates: Sep 11 2009 - Nov 14 2009

Opening Reception: Sep 11 2009

Veteran Indian artist Vivan Sundaram, in his second solo show at Walsh Gallery, gives us a closer look at TRASH in his multimedia exhibition. The exhibit opens Friday, September 11, from 5-8 pm. The artist will be present at the opening reception.

TRASH features large scale photos and videos based on a constructed city of trash that the artist made in 20 x 60 feet of his studio space. Working with wastepickers, the trash was literally unloaded by truckfuls into his studio. Many of the photos have a disorienting spatial quality since they are based on digital constructions from the material shot in the installation.

Mr. Sundaram wishes to draw attention to not only the amount of trash generated by the new urban middle class and elite, but also to draw attention to the fact that these wastepickers work all hours to sort, sift, and recycle all the trash generated.

As Mr. Sundaram says: It’s a huge industry that is part of our landscape. You can’t wish it away, just as you can’t wish away the poor. The urban middle upper class, rather than turn away from the garbage they generate, must face the reality of the people outside their gated colonies.

In Mr. Sundaram’s video Turning, the trash becomes almost personified. Bottle caps, parts of toys and plastic, empty soda cans, all are elements of the huge towers. The wind blows down the towers and then they are recreated. If trash can be beautiful, Mr. Sundaram has found a way to make it just that.

Vivan Sundaram was born 1943 in Simla. He studied painting in M.S. University,Baroda and the Slade School of Fine Art, London in the 1960’s. Since 1990 he was one of the first Indian artists to switch from painting to making artworks as sculpture, installation, photography and video. He has exhibited in the Biennial’s of Sydney (2008), Seville (2006), Taipei (2006), Sharjah (2005), Shanghai (2004), Havana (1997), Johannesburg (1997), Kwangju (1997). He has participated in group shows in London (Tate Modern, 2001), New York (International Centre for Photography, 2008, Queens Museum, 2005), Tokyo (Mori Museum, 2008, Munich (Haus der Kunst, 2006), Vienna (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation, 2006), Karlsruhe (ZKM, 2007), Chicago (Chicago Cultural Centre, 2007), Berlin (Haus der Kulteren Welt, 2003), Rotterdam (Museum Boijamns van Beuningen, 2001). He has had solo shows in many cities of India as well as in New York, Chicago, London, Paris, Toronto, Montreal and Copenhagen. He lives in Delhi and is married to the artwriter Geeta Kapur.