“The Sindhu Project: Enigma of Roots” exhibition kicks off at NCA

LAHORE: “The Sindhu Project: Riddle of the Roots,” an exhibition by contemporary artists Mahwish Chishty and Gunjan Kumar kicked off on Tuesday at the Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery of the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore.

Chishty and Kumar attempted to reimagine the ancient landscapes of the Indus Valley in the exhibit.

“The Sindhu Project: Enigma of Roots” is a multi-site exhibit that debuted at the South Asia Institute, Chicago in June 2021. Later it was reconfigured and split into two exhibits, one at NCA Lahore and the other will be presented at Exhibit320, New Delhi in January 2022.

“The Sindhu Project” embodies Mahwish Chishty and Gunjan Kumar’s responses to explorations of archaeological sites and artifacts in the vast Sindhu (Indus) watershed, a geographic region spanning north-western India and much of Pakistan. Through parallel journeys involving family roots and enigmas of places inhabited through time, Chishty and Kumar bring contemporary artistic creation into dialogue with excavated forms that help to imagine this ancient river landscape.

Chishty combines new media and conceptual work with South Asian art and craft materials and techniques. She holds a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) with a concentration in miniature painting from the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan, and an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Studio Arts from the University of Maryland. at College Park.

Gunjan Kumar is a process-based artist whose work involves crushed earth and oyster shells, clay, calcium carbonate and turmeric as a base medium applied to mulberry paper, wood and other materials. Kumar graduated in textiles from the National Institute of Design and Technology, New Delhi.

This exhibition juxtaposes the rhythmic energy of Chishty’s hanging etched acrylic installations with the subtle dimensionality of Kumar’s organic works. Chishty is focusing his investigation on Dharmarajika and the surrounding sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taxila in Pakistan. Kumar’s work refers to his visits to Dholavira and Sanghol, archaeological sites in India associated with the Harappan (Indus Valley) civilization. His works respond to textures, colors and materials associated with Harappan sites.

The exhibit at NCA aims to cultivate the art and culture of Southeast Asia and its Diaspora while projecting cultural heritage in a diverse way where the public can engage with the visuals and appreciate the history. shared of the Indus civilization.

The exhibition received a large number of guests not only from various academic institutions, but also from all walks of life. PNCA professor Dr. Murtaza Jafri praised the depth of research artists have put into the production of their works. He added that it is essential to speak about our South Asian heritage in contemporary times in non-Eurocentric terms, which has also been done in the past.

The show will continue until November 26, 2021.

James C. Tibbs