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“Tarq is an open-house invitation to anybody excited about 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 up to date 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 house at Dhanraj Mahal, an art-deco constructing in Mumbai’s artwork district. Tarq can now be discovered on the bottom flooring 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 by way of its tall door, one is straight away 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 facets. Cleverly positioned metal frames improve the interiors of the gallery.

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

Once I go to Tarq, large inexperienced floral preparations by Nazneen Jehangir of Libellule, adorn the window alcoves. I’m knowledgeable that these could be on show for the gallery’s opening weekend — later the massive home windows swivel open to let in mild and allow passersby to get a peek of the displays, 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 might be lined up on one wall promise to let in pure mild. Teakwood traces kind 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 sort of aptly a solo present (Edifice Advanced, on present until 10th June, 2023), by Sameer Kulavoor, an artist whose creatives specific his distinctive observations of areas, constructions 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’re 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 do this. Realising the crunch, I began wanting 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 concern 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 by way of a slender hall.

What have you ever introduced throughout out of your outdated area at Dhanraj Mahal?
Of a few of the issues we needed to make use of architecturally in our new premises, one was the teakwood property. We now have additionally reused most of our outdated furnishings. I might additionally wish to suppose that the heat of the folks that labored there’ll proceed right here. Now, the library is seen to everybody, which is sweet and totally different from earlier, the place it was inside my workplace. However entry to the library remains 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 all the pieces 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 an amazing private {and professional} rapport. He’s paid unimaginable consideration to element, particularly when it comes to performance and different issues which imply lots to us. The truth is, Goto is shifting his architectural follow to the fourth flooring (of the identical constructing) and I discovered about this vacant area by way of 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 needed that to hold on.

What was your temporary to Goto?
I needed to maximise the pure mild that the gallery has. Aside from that I allowed him to do no matter he needed to do, so long as we retained the heat of our outdated area. The design additionally needed to be sensible for us. However it was his imaginative and prescient totally; I believe my inputs have been extra practical.

There are a number 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 by way of a smaller staircase.

The library encompasses a removable railing for performance.

Talking about design, there’s a shaggy dog story behind the sound of the doorbell. Its chirping chicken sound belies its look. I requested the electrician to vary its sound, however I used to be advised, ‘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 closing kind 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 fascinating curations. I’m anticipating some very lengthy set up days to carry some mad and great exhibitions to life!

What makes it replicate the essence of Tarq?
I believe now we 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 excited about 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 have got any plans to shift to presenting artists who work in additional various mediums of artwork?

We now have labored with a few sculptors like Parag Tandel or with painter and ceramic artist Savia Mahajan up to now, however we haven’t carried out a present with both of them for a very long time. Each have solos lined up this 12 months. I believe it’s thrilling that it’s a unique arrange right here, so everybody’s going to be slightly challenged of their practices.

Aside from exhibitions, are occasions additionally on the agenda?
Occasions are one thing that now we have all the time carried out; they’re within the gallery’s DNA. However put up the pandemic now we 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 type — 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 totally different — to get individuals to return 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 wonderful 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 numerous utilities and operational issues that our guests gained’t see however the apparent change for them could be its bigger expanse, together with its major facade.

Take for instance Sameer’s present. In Dhanraj Mahal, our partitions wouldn’t have been capable of accommodate greater than two of those huge works. Displaying 4 of them concurrently would have been unimaginable there, however right here it’s been carried out.

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

Was it a strategic determination 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 Advanced 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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