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Thursday, December 7, 2023

“Tarq is an open-house invitation to anybody keen on creative practices and questions.” – Hena Kapadia

Textual content and Images by Asad Sheikh.

Tarq’s new location is characterised by an excessive verticality of area.

Ever since Tarq’s inception in 2014, the gallery has been on the forefront of the modern artwork scene in Mumbai. It has represented a gamut of younger, upcoming artists who’ve gone on to make their mark each nationally and globally.

Now, practically a decade later, the gallery’s founder Hena Kapadia determined to shift its location from its first residence at Dhanraj Mahal, an art-deco constructing in Mumbai’s artwork district. Tarq can now be discovered on the bottom ground of KK (Navsari) Chambers, a 100-year-old constructing in one of many bylanes close to the long-lasting Flora Fountain. Kapadia collaborated with Mumbai-based Japanese architect Katsushi Goto on the brand new area’s architectural particulars. In its new avatar, its design goals to strategically maximise a way of verticality.

In an earlier interview with Verve when the gallery was based, Kapadia had emphasised, “The essence of Tarq is that it’s open to vibrant dialog.” She hopes to hold the dialogue forward within the new premises that’s, for starters, distinctly bigger than its earlier one. As one walks into the gallery via its tall door, one is instantly acutely aware of how excessive the ceiling is. The gallery boasts a big open space flanked with teakwood pillars that additional add to the verticality of the area. The doorway and the home windows — with darkish brown panels and brass {hardware} that stretches from the ground to the ceiling — are simply its most eye-catching elements. Cleverly positioned metal frames improve the interiors of the gallery.

Floral preparations by Nazneen Jehangir adorn the area in the course of the gallery’s opening weekend. Tarq additionally has lighting designed by Tripti Sahni.

After I go to Tarq, large inexperienced floral preparations by Nazneen Jehangir of Libellule, adorn the window alcoves. I’m knowledgeable that these can be on show for the gallery’s opening weekend — later the large home windows swivel open to let in mild and allow passersby to get a peek of the reveals, inviting them to stroll in. Lengthy floating strips of sunshine, designed by Tripti Sahni, dance across the pillars and the perimeter of the gallery — and the home windows which can be lined up on one wall promise to let in pure mild. Teakwood strains type the grouting on the peach-grey tile work. As one walks additional into the gallery, having explored the area with the pillars, one is led right into a smaller space additionally dotted with artworks. The library — with its removable teak wooden railing — which highlights Kapadia’s private assortment, is seen from the decrease degree.

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition is kind of aptly a solo present (Edifice Complicated, on present until 10th June, 2023), by Sameer Kulavoor, an artist whose creatives categorical his distinctive observations of areas, buildings and geographies.

In a walkthrough on the gallery, a day earlier than its official opening, Verve speaks to Kapadia about her imaginative and prescient, her motivation for the shift, and her future plans.

Excerpts from the dialog….

Why did you are feeling the necessity to transfer out of your unique prestigious location?
Very frankly, we outgrew Dhanraj Mahal sooner or later. We had reached a stage the place we would have liked further area for storage. So, for instance, if we would have liked to rent somebody, we didn’t have the bodily bandwidth to try this. Realising the crunch, I began trying round for viable choices. And when I discovered this place it had truly been khali (empty) for about 20 years. It was simply an deserted place as a result of there had been some subject with the owner. That was resolved and we have been capable of lease it. It took us about eight months to get it prepared. We’ve retained some parts just like the pillars, that are the unique ones.

The workplace on the rear will be accessed via a slim hall.

What have you ever introduced throughout out of your outdated area at Dhanraj Mahal?
Of a few of the issues we wished to make use of architecturally in our new premises, one was the teakwood belongings. Now we have additionally reused most of our outdated furnishings. I might additionally prefer to suppose that the heat of the people who labored there’ll proceed right here. Now, the library is seen to everybody, which is good and completely different from earlier, the place it was inside my workplace. However entry to the library continues to be restricted.

Who did you’re employed with to create the brand new interiors?
We work with an artist referred to as Vishwa Shroff. Her companion Katsushi Goto is an architect and he’s the one who has truly helped us design and put every thing collectively — the pillars, the home windows, the flooring, all of the detailing.

I’ve been working with Vishwa since 2014 and I’ve recognized Goto since 2015 so we’ve developed a terrific private {and professional} rapport. He’s paid unimaginable consideration to element, particularly when it comes to performance and different issues which imply quite a bit to us. In actual fact, Goto is shifting his architectural follow to the fourth ground (of the identical constructing) and I came upon about this vacant area via him.

Teakwood furnishings from its unique location at Dhanraj Mahal finds a spot within the new gallery.

And the contractors who labored on the Dhanraj Mahal gallery labored on this one too. I firmly consider that Tarq is constructed on its relationships, so I wished that to hold on.

What was your transient to Goto?
I wished to maximise the pure mild that the gallery has. Other than that I allowed him to do no matter he wished to do, so long as we retained the heat of our outdated area. The design additionally needed to be sensible for us. But it surely was his imaginative and prescient solely; I feel my inputs have been extra practical.

There are a couple of particular issues that Goto did for us, however they’re storage-related. For instance, most of our storage is upstairs so he made the library railing detachable for simple entry. So, what must be saved can thus be simply transported straight up from the gallery area and we don’t have to lug it up through a smaller staircase.

The library includes a removable railing for performance.

Talking about design, there’s a comic story behind the sound of the doorbell. Its chirping hen sound belies its look. I requested the electrician to alter its sound, however I used to be instructed, ‘Madam, that is the sound given for this design’. And I made a decision to retain it as a result of Goto appreciated it.

What do you’re keen on most about your KK Chambers area?
Creating it has been a labour of affection and although we had our difficult moments, the area in its ultimate type carries the imprint of a course of rooted in collaboration and care. I actually worth the pure mild and verticality — each these qualities are going to push us to discover attention-grabbing curations. I’m anticipating some very lengthy set up days to deliver some mad and great exhibitions to life!

What makes it mirror the essence of Tarq?
I feel we now have managed to retain the heat and authenticity that’s on the coronary heart of Tarq’s spirit. And the area has been designed to permit us to develop our gallery programme that’s fairly easy — an open-house invitation to anybody keen on creative practices and questions. Everyone seems to be welcome to the desk.

At Dhanraj Mahal as a result of gallery’s construction, you have been unable to show many three-dimensional items, other than say works by artists like Rah Naqvi. Provided that the brand new Tarq is bigger and airier, do you might have any plans to shift to presenting artists who work in additional various mediums of artwork?

Now we have labored with a few sculptors like Parag Tandel or with painter and ceramic artist Savia Mahajan prior to now, however we haven’t executed a present with both of them for a very long time. Each have solos lined up this yr. I feel it’s thrilling that it’s a unique arrange right here, so everybody’s going to be a bit of challenged of their practices.

Other than exhibitions, are occasions additionally on the agenda?
Occasions are one thing that we now have all the time executed; they’re within the gallery’s DNA. However publish the pandemic we now have been getting blended responses to those. Though on-line ones are slowly changing into a factor of the previous, I really feel that within the case of in-person occasions, it’s a really particular sort — maybe of the extra interactive form — that may pull in a crowd.

The place do you suppose the artwork gallery scene within the metropolis is headed?
I really feel prefer it’s rising. After we began in 2014, it was so completely different — to get individuals to come back to the gallery was like pulling out their tooth! However now individuals are up in arms asking ‘The place are you shifting?’, ‘Why are you shifting?’. It feels so superb to see them so invested within the gallery. It’s great.

And to those that ask why we moved, I say, shifting was important. There are a number of utilities and operational issues that our guests gained’t see however the apparent change for them can be its bigger expanse, together with its principal facade.

Take for instance Sameer’s present. In Dhanraj Mahal, our partitions wouldn’t have been capable of accommodate greater than two of those massive works. Exhibiting 4 of them concurrently would have been not possible there, however right here it’s been executed.

The inaugural exhibition was a solo present, Edifice Complicated, by Sameer Kulhavoor

Was it a strategic choice to have Kulavoor do the inaugural present right here, provided that his work is rooted within the concept of constructing areas?
Sure positively! However, Sameer was prepared together with his present Edifice Complicated a lot earlier than the gallery was. I requested him to attend — to be the opening present — and fortunately he mentioned sure. And it really works proper? It’s very area centric!

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