‘Boomerang’: an exhibition taking a contemporary look at ancient India

‘Boomerang’: an exhibition taking a contemporary look at ancient India
Michal Raz, 'Things I Can't Say, No 1' (detail). Courtesy of Curaty Ltd. © Michal Raz.
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Boomerangs today are most associated with Instagram. The quick videos that play through, rewind, and play through again, on repeat, for just a few seconds. Basically, it’s a video that goes around and comes back around. That concept, of going around and coming around, is also what ‘Boomerang,’ an exhibition by Curaty Ltd. at Mumbai’s Tao Art Gallery, is taking a closer look at.

No, you won’t find any videos in this exhibition, but ‘Boomerang’ epitomizes the moment of the boomerang effect in relation to two artists: Michal Raz and Viraj Mithani. What both artists have done is revisit ancient Indian traditions of mythology and art making by looking through a contemporary lens. While negotiating a similar theme, their works bring entirely different perspectives of Indian heritage to the table, or, in this case, the walls.

Born in Israel, Raz is now based in London. Her primary experience of Indian life and culture come through her travels and reading. On the other end of the spectrum is Mithani who was born in Mumbai and continues to live and work there, having spent just a handful of years living in other places. Thus, their respective notions of India vary, but, when brought together, their works ‘arrive at the same subject from opposite experiences,’ according to the press release.

Viraj Mithani, ‘Crouching Tiger’, 2019, vinyl and monoprint on paper. Courtesy of Curaty Ltd. ©Viraj Mithani.

 

‘Boomerang’ is the first time that Raz and Mithani’s works have come together and though their experiences with India differ, their works are both vibrant, at times nearly chaotic, abstracted scenes. They both work through layering their medium to add dimension but from there, they diverge. Raz plants hidden meanings within her works, rejecting the narrative while relying on metaphors and symbols. In contrast, Mithani revisits motifs and various tales creating works that read more like a book. With both artists, though, ‘traditional India’ soars away and then swiftly comes back in a push and pull of visual cues.

‘Boomerang’ isn’t only a first for Raz and Mithani’s works coming together. It is also Curaty’s first collaboration with Tao Art Gallery and the first exhibition Curaty, a London-based firm, has produced in India. Curaty was founded in 2018 by Sneha Shah, who saw the lack of representation for artists just starting out after art school. Thus, Curaty was born in order to connect artists with lovers of art in search of art. Shah has worked with companies to curate original exhibitions bringing art to their bare office walls (hence their #NoNakedWalls campaign) but she also works with galleries, as is the case with Tao Art Gallery. Making a good fit for Curaty, Tao Art was founded in 2000 and has evolved through the years. Today, Tao Art seeks to make space for unique conceptual shows under the guidance of self-taught artist and connoisseur, Kalpana Shah, the creative director of Tao Art.

‘Boomerang’ opened at Tao Art Gallery in Mumbai, India on September 20th and is on view through October 16th.

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