KANCHANA GUPTA 458.32 SQUARE METERS
Curated by Savita Apte
Artist Statement In Conversation with Elaine Chiew
458.32 Square Meters: Frayed, Fragmented and Fabricated
Artworks 28 Biography 52 Curriculum Vitae 54
Kanchana Gupta 458.32 Square Meters 12 Octoberâ€”10 November 2019 Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore 5 Lock Road #01-06 108933 www.sullivanstrumpf.com
ARTIST STATEMENT I am hugely inspired by the artist Cornelia Parker, who harnesses the potentiality of materials to speak about a diverse range of subjects. In my work I strive to employ the same simplicity of form and focus on essentials. Although I do not aim to be Minimalist, the ideology of Minimalism undoubtedly continues to influence the aesthetics and spatial language of my practice. My practice yokes process with materiality and this is the structure and impetus behind all my works. The materials which inhabit my work range from oil paint and canvas to socially weighted everyday substances such as vermillion powder, henna, silk, sandalwood powder and stretch to urban construction materials like jute and tarpaulin. Each material brings with it its own particular identity, social symbology, weave, texture, structure and colour, which I leverage using a combination of studio and industrial processes often irreversibly altering the inherent properties and contexts. My studio process is both reflective and meditative, developed through repetitive actions such as layering, tearing, burning, peeling, stacking, folding, bundling, heaping, arranging, compressing and cleaving. These actions and the art works themselves may be read as metaphors for the concealment and revelations, of accumulated experiences as well as an ongoing social commentary on the condition of labour. Each work leads to a series of investigations and each series becomes the foundation for the next. For example, my series Traces and Residues built on the deliberations of Fragments and Residues and became a process of contemplation about the psychological aspects of disconnecting and the marks/ bruises and the resultant fracturing and fragmentation that ensue. I expanded both the psychological notions and process into a secondary social narrative in the series Works-InProgress and Edges and Residues manipulating the materiality of oil paint and process of peeling with urban social materials like tarpaulin
and jute, to allude to the problems of urbanisation with its emphasis on construction, migration and a resultant compression. My latest series Compressed@..., Compressed Slabs and Compressed and Cut have explored the use of large volumes of paint and substructure. Extrapolating various studio and industrial processes, I produce sculptural pieces that better articulate my experience of rapid urban growth in the environments which I inhabit. Although solid in their structure, these works are far more intimate in nature, exposing a personal geology of lived experience. To me, compression encapsulates the pattern, rhythm and colour that is unique to urban spaces, industrial materials and labour processes. In these works, the idea of compression is used not only to force a material into a pre-determined mould/space but also to transform it into acquiring a different shape, form and eventually a different identity. This notion of transformation and compression is embedded not only in the process of making my works but also in the works themselves. Throughout my practice colour has remained a vital component both as an expressive means to create visual sensations as well as a symbolic arbiter of a unified language. Thus each series is often confined to its own predetermined colour palette. In addition, literature and cinema in various languages and from around the world continue to be major influences in my life and my work. I incorporated film as a medium in my site specific installation work, Two Tales and a City and my current series of works are videos, which dissect the narrative of sexualised presentations of the female body in commercial Indian cinema of the 1980s and 90s, a series that is deeply personal and intimateâ€”part personal memory and part social commentary. 6
KANCHANA GUPTA IN CONVERSATION WITH ELAINE CHIEW
EC: Let’s start with progression. From your last solo exhibition, Traces and Residues ( January 2017, Richard Koh Fine Art) to your most recent solo exhibition, 458.32 Square Meters (October 2019, Sullivan + Strumpf Singapore), there are many discernible differences, not least of which is a conceptual orientation towards the socially conscious and a localised urban reality. How would you describe your artistic progression within this timeline? KG: Works in the series Traces and Residues consisted of expanses of oil paint burnt and peeled off the canvas and they embodied my exploration of what the act and the process of tearing, peeling, its residual impact and resultant fragments mean to me. The remnants and residues, created through the act of disconnecting, simultaneously reveal and conceal the traces left behind, and became my main subject of contemplation. While the process of peeling exposed the intimacy between the canvas surface and the disconnected fragment, each sheet itself also revealed its history and relationship with the surface by making visible the traces as bruises. I continue to be consumed by the idea of tearing sheets of oil paint from its support structure. While both Traces and Residues and 458.32 Square Meters mark my ongoing investigations into the materiality and transformation of oil paint; in these later works, the process and the materiality are conduits to express the narrative and the complexity of felt urban ‘compression’. 458.32 Square Meters comprises works within the Edges and Residues series, an extension of Traces and Residues, as well as new works within the Compressed Slabs and Compressed and Cut series.
In Edges and Residues, the canvas surface has been replaced with tarpaulin and jute, used extensively at construction sites in India and by migrant communities to build temporary homes. Created on divergent jute surfaces, these works conceal, reveal and embody patterns of jute weaving. Jute as a material offers a strong resistance to forces of gravity through tearing and creating unpredictable cracks, rips and edges in the paint skin. These skins are then layered and affixed together to create these wall-based works. Compressed Slabs follow a multi-step process inside my studio and then in an industrial setting, influenced by the basic process of creating prefabricated cement slabs, used in the construction industry. Cement mix, wire mess, iron poles etc. are placed in a casting mold to solidify to create slabs in a factory, which are then transported to the construction site. Prefabricated cement slabs are usually named as ‘kitchen 100 cm_1/2/3’ etc. Works in the Compressed Slabs series are created by placing heated pieces of paint strips in a wooden mold and then using a hydraulic machine to apply pressure vertically. Similar to the nomenclature of the cement slabs, these works are titled as 75 cm slab_001/002/003 etc., to treat them just as objects without other attendant meanings. Compressed and Cut Slabs are created by the same method; the only difference is that pressure has been applied vertically as well as horizontally with the machine. I wanted to manually cut open these solid sculptures to expose their layers and the degree of compression and hence decided to get them compressed from
both sides so that I can achieve maximum possible density without losing the layers. In short, the works in 458.32 Square Meters are material and process manifestations of subconscious experiences and reflections, where ubiquitous social materials like jute and tarpaulins have replaced the canvas surface and the studio process has been combined with industrial processes and labour to create highly compressed sculptures of oil paint sheets. EC: This is really key, this term ‘compression’, and it carries an ironic tilt in its title towards class divisions. In its very semantic, the term ‘compression’ connotes layers, and reverberates with metaphoric significance. How would you thread that metaphorical significance through to the title and its invocation of real estate and social divisions?
KG: The Compressed series offers a visceral and personal response to the complexity of various forms of compression: physical, emotional or time, as experienced in urban milieus and existence. Created as they were through a combination of studio and industrial processes, they function as metaphors of the felt urban ‘compression’. My methodology of using studio and industrial processes and labour lends multifaceted meaning to this series. The notion of compression here is embedded not only in the process of making these works but also in the works themselves. Subsequently, sculptures are manually cut open to expose the layers of compression, as if they are marks of the accumulated experiences. The title 458.32 Square Meters refers to the aggregate quantity of oil paint strips used to create all the works displayed in the show. My idea of the title was to talk visually about the density of compression in these works; however, square meters is also a unit of measuring the size of urban dwellings, hence indirectly alluding to desirable real estate and symbolising various forms of spatial compression, be it the size of residential apartments, foreign workers’ dormitories (juxtaposing and comparing here), work spaces, or columbaria which house the remains of people who once lived. EC: The process sounds laborious and physically demanding. Was it? What is the personal significance of subjecting the artist’s body through this process? How heavy is the heaviest of these works?
As physically exhausting as it is, it is also quite rhythmic and meditative, which I enjoy. This kind of physical involvement not only lends a certain tactility to my works but it also creates a kind of intimacy between the works and I. I watch them evolve slowly over months and each work carries some sort of remnant of the artistâ€™s body and hands, in the form of imperfect cutting line or asymmetric edges of paintings, as well as the sweat and toil of making them. This intimacy and the psychological process with each of my works is important to me.
KG: The heaviest of these works is approximately 40 kg. My process is labour intensive from beginning to end. It starts with a daily ritual of layering oil paint vertically on approximately 60 square meters of surface area for 5 to 6 weeks to accumulate 25 to 30 layers of paint. Once all the layers are fully dry, I start the process of tearing, using heat and various types of knives, which requires me to work with various heat emanating devices (used in construction and furniture industries) while standing for hours. Then comes the affixing of many sheets horizontally for those that are more like paintings. As mentioned, sculptures are made in a factory through the process of compression. Once compressed, I cleave these dense works manually using a fine saw and it takes 30 to 40 hours to cleave just one. Itâ€™s a very slow and deliberate process as the material is very dense and cohesive to penetrate and cut through.
EC: Thatâ€™s really interesting: indeed, the results function as metonyms of the alienation of labour. I am drawn as well to your incorporation of social materials such as jute and tarpaulin. Why jute and tarpaulin specifically? Do they act as signifiers for you? KG: A few years ago, I took up studio space in an industrial area near Ubi and began taking walks around the neighbourhood, encountering and striking up conversations with migrant workers living in a dormitory next door and other people working in small scale industries. These, and many other conversations with people from different strata, as well as my own experience of a highly urbanised life for more than 25 years made me think of the physical, mental, social and emotional compressions associated with such environments. I began observing the various industrial processes being carried out in the vicinity, from welding, compressing, soldering to metal work, wood work, scrap recycling, fabricating etc. Being intrigued by these processes and materials I kept encountering, such as tarpaulin, jute, cement, steel, wood, prefabricated slabs etc., I decided to combine studio
The symbolism of the blue tarpaulin is more direct in the series, Works-In-Progress. Tarpaulin is a seemingly commonplace object, so omnipresent in construction that no one notices it. For Works-in-Progress, I created fake tarpaulin sheets using oil paint and fitted them with islets to hang in a space, to talk about temporariness, movement and concealment, to resemble the ubiquitous tarps used to cover buildings under-construction that you see everywhere. EC: Going back further to the start of your artistic career, what led you to work with paint?
processes with these materials and processes to create art works. The colour scheme also bears traces of what I observe in these industrial neighbourhoods â€“ pale blue and various shades of grey. Jute and tarpaulin leave their imprints on the oil paint through their absence in these works. Each material carries its own iconology. Jute is used in the construction industry in India to wrap cemented columns to absorb water and help columns dry fast. Once its work is done, itâ€™s either discarded or used by construction workers for their make-shift homes. I collect those discarded pieces to layer paint on and then discard again, mirroring its cycle of life at a construction site. Mimicking the pattern of jute weaving, these works point to the material through its traces and absence.
KG: I have worked with diverse materials so far and started working with oil paint only 5-6 years back. During my Diploma years at LASALLE College of the Arts, I worked with materials like henna, vermillion powder, sandalwood powder, glue, handwoven silk, and many other materials to create installations that alluded to the concept of gender identities of married Indian women. Identity II, my first solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore in 2011, consisted of an installation of sculptural forms made of vermillion powder and glue. I am aware of the deep history and legacy that oil paint carries but I am not contextualising my works just within that history and legacy. What attracts me to oil paint is its ability to assert both a surface presence and its simultaneous abstraction, to carry traces and marks, to be transformed by heat and pressure and to lend certain aesthetic qualities that I want to see in my works. Itâ€™s not obvious looking at my works that oil paint is the key
material because of the transformation it goes through, which is how I used vermillion powder too. It’s their transformation and manipulation to the point of loss of their primary property, their simultaneous presence and absence and the associated narrative, that I am interested in. EC: I’m intrigued by your use of the words ‘transformation’ and ‘manipulation to the point of loss of their primary property’ to describe the final forms of the works following the abstraction process, because this transformation isn’t just reflected in the material, it’s also reflective of those who labour using these materials. Rebecca Solnit said this: “The people thrown into other cultures must go through something of the anguish of the butterfly, whose body must disintegrate and reform multiple times in its life cycle.” What do these processes of ‘transformation’ and ‘transmutation’ signify to you? KG: I use the term ‘transformation’ more in terms of materiality of oil paint in the sense that it does not give any impression of its real self in my works, being transformed from a liquid medium to heavy masses of sculptural forms. I use it to talk about the conversion from one form to another, one identity to another, under duress—sometimes extreme duress—in many stages, each stage altering its physicality. However, materiality is a metaphor here to talk about any transformation that we experience—physical as well as emotional. Solnit is talking about a transformation that’s not
visible externally, like a butterfly, but an internal change over a period of time. In the case of paint, it’s both external as well as internal transformation. This transformation in each work is a ‘psychologised event’ for me. EC: Ah, you’re referring also to your interview with Jason Wee in the exhibition catalogue for Traces and Residues, where your past works have been termed ‘psychologised events’. Earlier, you also said that the physically exhausting process is meditative. How does this psychological dimension reflect or combine with what we think about abstraction – as an oscillation between the known and the unknown, and your personal artistic journey? KG: Abstraction in all forms is about a sense of indeterminacy, that oscillation between the known and the unpredictable. While my process has a certain rhythm, precision and rigour, the resultant fragments carry their own individual characteristics and no two pieces are the same. Each sheet, when torn, forms its own relationship with gravity, producing unique cracks, clefts, crevices, edges and residues. Every time I tear a piece, each rip exposes the rawness underneath, revealing its past and its relationship with the surface in unpredictable ways. How it will behave with fire and gravity is something that cannot be controlled and it’s this untamed part of my process which fascinates me the most. It is the unknown that lends a unique language to each work.
The psychological dimension was more obvious in the series Traces and Residues as I was grappling with the nature and identity of a fragment. Works in the Edges and Residues and Compressed series are more like an embodiment of my observations and felt emotions and extends beyond the psychologised nature of the making of Traces and Residues. This is the next iteration where I am no longer insecure about the identity of a fragment but I am more focussed on how to use their language to express myself. EC: Tell us more about this visual or aesthetic language development. The works speak to heft, lines, geometric forms, gradations of colour and deploy a visual vocabulary associated with geology – cracks, fissures, uneven surfaces, layers of compression. KG: I don’t follow a pre-decided aesthetic language or visual vocabulary while working in studio. My process takes many months and I let the works develop their own language eventually. What I do consider beforehand is the colour scheme of the series based on the concept that I am working on and I usually start with many pages of colour studies. Another important consideration for me is to create a language of intimacy between the works and viewers. I would like viewers to come close to the works and discover colours, patterns, lines, cracks, irregularities, imperfections etc., irrespective of the size of the work. For the series Compressed Slabs and Compressed and Cut, I followed recognisable geometric forms that I encounter daily in urban architecture and industrial sites. There is such familiarity to these forms that often, they don’t even register in our memories. That
kind of mundaneness in urban surroundings appeals to me. Having said that, of late, I feel closer to minimalist aesthetics and subconsciously, that influence is obvious in this exhibition. Particularly for 458.32 Square Meters, colour, size and forms have been used to create a visual vocabulary of quietness and intimacy within the gallery space. Credit goes to my curator Savite Apte for visualising the space and creating that relationship amongst the works. EC: You mentioned ‘colour scheme’ as an important consideration. What is your relationship with colour; how has it evolved?
KG: Colour!! I have a bewitching relationship with colours… they give me immense joy but also frustrate me in equal measure. Using colour as a visual sensation, my works explore the expressive aspects of colour based on observations, sensations, felt experiences, personal connections and evoked emotions. One can read many associations of colour in my works, however key decisions around colour are either more intuitive and sensationbased or revolve around its symbolic meaning. Usually I stay in the world of a particular colour for a few months to utilise its visual energy. During my Masters, I was immersed in shades of 3 colours – violet red, blue and mustard yellow – for one and a half years.
The colours in Compressed Slabs and Compressed and Cut are derived from the various shades of blue and grey that one encounters in most urban and industrial environments. I am a keen observer of colours in my surroundings and translate that into my works.
Traces and Residues had a bold and bright colour palette because patches of bright colours left behind symbolised bruises of the process of peeling and disconnecting. The insistent colours in the form of residues carried from the surface from which the piece was removed, indicated the existence and passing of something. The colours in Traces and Residues are reminiscent of the colours of the evening, a time that carries traces of day as well as of night, and yet reveals a distinct identity all its own. It is when white light gets dispersed, revealing brilliant oranges, pinks, and purples. Works-In-Progress borrowed the colour scheme of the ubiquitous blue tarpaulin as a direct reference. The choice of white as the dominant colour in Edges and Residues emanates from a desire to use a colour that complements the process of tracing and highlighting the patterns that can be found in various jute surfaces. White’s chromatic and ideological neutrality enhances the edges of the layers beneath.
EC: How do you see your relationship to painting versus sculpture? KG: Painting is usually considered as a two-dimensional pictorial composition whereas sculpture is associated with attributes like mass, volume, gravity, materiality and three-dimensionality. I am more interested in the hybridity and the dialogue between the two forms rather than in their individual limitations or possibilities. I was not thinking of painting as a surface in this exhibition but as mass, volume, space and density, treating it like a physical space rather than a visual surface. The consideration for me was not either/or but how to assemble all these objects within a certain space so as to not only give a certain depth to it but also to create a common language, a language that works with the lines of architecture in the space. I wanted to leverage the pictorial possibilities in the tension between these two forms and use the same to frame the gallery space. Accordingly, not just artworks but even the support structures of framing, hanging, brackets, plinths etc. have been decided to accentuate that language in the space. EC: That notion of space is one you’ve referenced in an interview you gave in ArtHop, this idea of ‘framing the space’. You recently completed a residency at Objectifs Center for Photography, where you’re developing a video-based work. Tell us more about what you’re exploring there. How does this notion of space attend in a video-frame as compared to canvas or exhibition-framing?
KG: Recently, I found myself interested in exploring the history, iconology, artifices and the process behind an image, particularly mainstream Indian cinema which I grew up with during the ‘80s and ‘90s. The image of a female body, sensuously gyrating and making suggestive gestures in rain-soaked clinging chiffon sari that accentuates her curves. This image has persisted as a motif in mainstream Indian cinema, capturing the male gaze and imagination for over a hundred years. This voyeuristic image is basically a construct, created to serve a purpose. Over time, this construct has become a perception of reality in our collective imagination and memory. As a woman, I am intrigued by cinematic-mediated images of women; using the medium of video, film and my own body, I want to explore the identity and representation of this image as well as the role it played in informing my own perception of feminity and desirability during my growing-up years. The residency opportunity at Objectifs helped me deepen my research into video as medium. The new artistic challenge for me is using and presenting my own body as subject. The work I spoke about in ArtHop was The Fragment and the Whole, exhibited in the LASALLE College of the Arts’ Masters in Fine Arts show, and consisted of wall and floor based objects as my first attempt to bring both elements – the fragments of paint peels and its composed whole – together in space. This spatial relationship framed the space as well as defined the tension that held it all together as one work.
The concept of space is equally important for video and moving images. Lines and frames of moving images define the space to create a visual experience in a similar way done by paintings and sculptures. The in-progress video work I am making now consists of three channels that will be exhibited as one installation and their architectural relationship not only frames the space but also aims to direct a viewerâ€™s gaze.
1 Compressed and cut_001, 2019, compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 2 Artist studio of Kanchana Gupta 3 Works-In-Progress, 2017-2018, oil paint burnt and stripped off tarpaulin 4 Edges and Residues 15 - White on Bright Blue Grey and Paynes Grey, 2019, stacked oil paint skins burnt and stripped off jute and mounted on wooden structure
Elaine Chiew is a writer and visual arts researcher. She has a law degree from Stanford University and an MA in Asian Art History from LASALLE College of the Arts. She works freelance on art projects, and has written for ArtReview Asia, Ocula and ArtsEquator.
5 Traces and Residues - Pink on Blue #01, 2016, oil paint on wooden boards 6 The Fragment and The Whole, 2016, oil paint on wooden boards and oil paint burnt and stripped off boards
458.32 SQUARE METERS:
FRAYED, FRAGMENTED AND FABRICATED
“To try to understand the experience of another it is necessary to dismantle the world as seen from one’s own place within it, and to reassemble it as seen from his. […] The world has to be dismantled and re-assembled in order to be able to grasp, however clumsily, the experience of another. To talk of entering the other’s subjectivity is misleading. The subjectivity of another does not simply constitute a different interior attitude to the same exterior facts. The constellation of facts, of which he is at the centre, is different.” —John Berger, The Seventh Man (Verso, 2010: 97-98)
Over the last fifty years in particular there have been a number of artists, who have made their personal experience of an exiled, diasporic existence the wellspring of their aesthetic imagination. These artists have sought a variety of creative strategies to communicate the enormity of ruptures, the small everyday slippages, the major adjustments and the loss and longing that define a migrant’s existence. Separated from their homeland, art has proven to be one of the most effective strategies to negotiate identities at cultural crossroads. Through hybridised as well as traditional modes of artistic production, translocal as well as transnational artists have challenged, renegotiated and redefined their identities. Transnational adaption and engagement with artistic production, has in turn informed critical discourse on the diverse sources and multivalent strategies of conceptualisation and representation of the transnational artist and their local
environment. It is theoretical and critical writing on this subject that offers an oblique perspective of Kanchana Gupta’s work exhibited as 458.32 Square Meters. The exhibition originated from Gupta’s need to convey “experience lived, experience interpreted, experience defined” as Stuart Hall so succinctly describes it; in which urban construction appears as an arena of consent and resistance – an ambivalent site of both freedom and sequestration that reconfigures the relationship between the artist and the world. The exhibition itself, is at once a site of presentation and concealment, of place and displacement, of staging and happenstance. It presents an agglomeration of individual history, connected through personal experience to the grander narratives of displacement, diaspora and migration and delineates the artist’s intriguingly poetic and socio-political perspective of the world. The title of the exhibition, 458.32 Square Meters articulates, in the artist’s characteristically controlled approach, the total amount of material deployed in the works installed in the show. 458.32 Square Meters can be read across several registers. It may be understood as a straightforward acknowledgement of material ambition and a marker of affluence - the ideal floor area of the prerequisite desirable residence. The ‘made it!’ number which affirms the success of upwardly mobile professionals. In pursuit of which, aspirational, city dwellers, be they in Mumbai or Singapore allow themselves to be moulded and manipulated: willing participants in the rat race towards a ‘desres’. It is the size of agricultural land, (in India) which is denied the labour force
that constructs the edifices which house the desirable homes. Though loaded with associative subtext and meaning, the title of the show is dispassionately prosaic, deliberately restrained and intentionally opaque. Even as it invites a bewilderingly diverse array of interpretations, from magic numbers to tarot, it consciously offers no clues to the empathetic vulnerability and personal experience that is the impetus behind Gupta’s practice. Nor does the title annotate the complex contemplation or landscape of interpretive strategies which Gupta deploys to tease the transient hypotheses from the depths of her subconscious to the conscious materiality of her signature visual language with its precisely crafted forms and, what have been described, as her minimalist tendencies. The term Minimalism has often been used to structure the passage from Modernism to Post Modernism in art theory and functions as a moment of shift. Situating Gupta’s meticulous practice within this moment of shift, resonates to some extent with the artist’s own creative impulse. The absence of the subject allows for a reiteration of formal exploration. It permits the imperative framing of the physical attributes of her work - mass, volume and simplicity of form, and in addition it supports a blurring of boundaries between painting and sculpture. It also accounts for her ongoing serial investigations into the materiality and transformation of oil paint, on industrial quality mass-produced surfaces. It even informs Gupta’s approach to her practice, which is firmly situated in the studio, where processes are repeated with the solemnity and serenity of ritual, informed by passion and
tempered by patience, precision, experimentation and expertise. Yet it is Gupta’s visceral response to the urban environments, foregrounding the unprecedented pressures of migration, urbanisation and globalisation expressed visually through quotidian materials, that signals a definite disjuncture from Minimalist ideology. A dissonance which is amplified as the artist juxtaposes personal experience against overarching meta narratives and theories. In addition, the significance the artist places on mark making and the cautious acknowledgement of an underlying personal history intertwined with metaphorical associations, moves Gupta’s work significantly away from Minimalism’s impersonal, non-symbolic unitary forms. Gupta’s social, cultural, ideological and perhaps even political impetus may be better approached through Susan Sontag, who considered ‘being an outsider a guarantee of individualism and creative success’, rather than through the reflections on displacement articulated by cultural commentators such as Edward Said, Joseph Brodsky and Salman Rushdie who question both the myth of the stranger as a receptacle for affirmative creativity as well as the more widely held belief that the ideal position of the artist is not within society but outside of it – in exile. Gupta was born in Chanayanban, a village in the state of Bihar, India, within an extended joint family. A fluid system, the extended joint family, remarkable for its elasticity of spatial boundaries, that are expanded as required to accommodate members of the family, still remains the norm in large parts of rural as well as urban India. Archetypical life within a joint family assumed multifaceted nurturing and discipline, but also reinforced a clearly bounded
social conservatism and a hierarchical, patriarchal authority. In sharp contrast, although the city offered a more liberal lifestyle, the family had to be moulded to fit into the cramped urban living spaces. Each subsequent move to ever denser urban centres strengthened the nuclear family unit even as it blurred the contours of the protective joint family and consequently was accompanied by a simultaneous sense of loss and achievement. These paradoxical feelings are described by Du Bois (1994) as akin to a sense of ‘double consciousness’ – a poignant doubling up of belonging and alienation and a simultaneous awareness of both. Although his terminology described a different context, it may be borrowed to explain the insider/outsider feeling that translocals experience. Mircea Eliade’s writings illuminate this experience slightly differently, with the thought that home was the place from which the notion of the world could be founded, and that therefore every move away from home shattered the wholeness of the world. Eliade posits an enduring connection between a person, their ancestry, the home and their universe. In Gupta’s case ‘double consciousness’ neatly defines the split subject and fractured reality of translocation which reached a crescendo with the artist’s relocation to Mumbai. The problems of mass urbanisation were clearly discernible in the megapolis of Mumbai; in every part of the city, in its buildings and cramped spaces, in the overcrowded, poor living conditions, its tastes and sounds and accumulated in the babble of local vernaculars. Whereas living in Mumbai made Gupta’s own sensory awareness more explicit; relocation to Singapore a few years later, amplified Gupta’s sense of the migrant’s double consciousness and became
inflected with more complex layers of alienation and belonging. It is these emotional fluctuations that the artist is hesitant to put into words, but which inform all her work and modulate her response to her immediate environment. Gupta’s work continues to define her ongoing fascination with rapidly changing urban-scapes in general and her concern with the particularities of the environments she inhabits as reflections of her own expatriate existence. Guided by the understanding that art is produced through precision and rigour, Gupta loads textured fabric surfaces with meticulous layers of pigmented oil paint over an intense work phase that stretches into weeks. Over time, the impregnated surfaces are transformed into thick impenetrable skins of paint. These skins are then variously peeled, ripped, burnt and torn, which discoloses the ongoing dynamic at the interface of fabric and paint, each of which is enriched by the impressions, residues and traces that are left on the other. In Traces and Residues (Singapore, 2017) Gupta presented a series of wall works comprised of exposed, enigmatic surfaces, replete with imprints that resulted from her deliberate deconstruction of material. These works, largely fabricated on tarpaulin, alluded to the duality of rural and urban conditions, even as they evoked a practical functionality. Most importantly, they offered a stoic proposition for the enduring significance of the handmade. The aesthetic reiteration of investigating the materiality of oil paint and pigments, achieved through extensive and repeated tactile manipulation and reformulation, may be analysed in Gupta’s
case through the prism of psychological drives or be seen as a persistent exploration of formal qualities. Although both psychology and formalism play equally important roles in the formulation of Gupta’s practice, the overarching impetus uniting Gupta’s past and present series of works is her ongoing critical reflection on the reciprocal relationship between surface and paint. This, together with a fascination for the transformative function, is extended in the current show 458.32 Square Meters. There is still the continued use of unassuming materials manipulated to establish interplays between mass and texture, which makes Gupta’s visual language immediately recognisable. However, subtle variations in colour, combined with inherent imperfections, lend the new works a freshness, generating a visual variety and depth and, in the process, annotating a temporal progression. Open and closed weave jutes replace tarpaulin, offering a dissimilar and varied resistance to the accumulation of paint deposit, as well as the force of gravity acting on them, and consequently, to the tearing of paint skins that is part of the studio process. Gupta continues with the painstaking and repetitive assembly of layers of paint on the jute carapace. Gravity is encouraged, unhindered during the process; the painterly accumulation is additionally subjected to heat and manual manipulation, and then peeled, torn and ripped from the exoskeleton. The result is an array of delicate skins which are transformed into autonomous fragile fragments. The act of severing these fragments endows them with a crucial vulnerability. The psychological impact of each separation that the artist underwent is mirrored in the physical act of
separation in her practice. Each transformation of the broken and fragile pieces into different forms echoes Gupta’s own personal experience that each move demanded - formulating and reformulating her identity. Physically as well as metaphorically, the work exposes an unpredictable and uncontrollable network of cracks, crevices and clefts on the structural material. The marks, imprints, and jagged edges manifested through constant acts of attachment and detachment, not only lend unique characteristics to the resultant fragments, but also serve as a reminder of the intimate relationship that once existed between these materials. What lies exposed, is the intimacy of mark making – which, by the process of inversion, no longer remains hidden and private, but is made public - absorbed and analysed by an audience. White, is the artist’s dominant colour of choice in these works, selected deliberately to highlight the intricate patterns on the jute surface and to mimic the slaked lime coating widely used in the building industry but also to mourn the loss that translocation creates (white is the colour of mourning in India). The wall works, with their frayed edges that combine precision, abstraction and the sculptural assemblage of paint, are thus coopted into an articulation of an ongoing visual narrative. Whereas Gupta’s two-dimensional works present material which is variously manipulated and subjected to extreme manual duress within the studio setting, the Compressed Slab series in this exhibition, establishes the consequences of mechanical
compacting and industrial compression on the delicate and temporary skins of oil paint, which are arranged in specially fabricated moulds. Each gesture and process in the studio, shifts an evolving object into new configurations and reveals a fresh range of untested possibilities. Gupta attempts to keep the strips monochromatic as she collects them and compacts them into the restrictive moulds. Unusually for Gupta, the works are then out of her control – sent on for industrial compression. The sculptures that emerge set their own terms, continually finding new ways to express the latent potential in simple, everyday materials and their mutable relationships to one another.
of tamped desires, restricted agency and crushed dreams whilst concurrently highlighting the paradoxical relationship between feeling the overwhelming weight of emotional duress while simultaneously feeling emptiness. The slashes of blue colour that predominates in these works strikes a sombre note as it recalls the sprawl of hutments covered with blue tarpaulin, visible from the air, whilst landing in Mumbai. In Compressed Slab _002_75 cm, for example, the predominant colour is a blue-grey on a white and dark grey base, recalling serene landscapes bluing with distance, or relentless waves in
The largely monochromatic polyhedral sculptures of the Compressed Slab series evidence this marriage of the artist’s painstaking interventions with the uncanny vagaries of the unexpected and often unintended outcomes that occur as a result of industrial compression. Gupta’s focus on manipulation, reconstruction and transformation permits the plasticity and rigidity of the tempered fragments to speak for themselves and by association create a series of emotional and sometimes nostalgic references. The fragments acquire colour and shape through industrial processes, which transform them into largely monochromatic sculptural objects, conferring a rigid physical shape to the history and wisdom that is condensed into the artist’s cultural values. The elongated brick like forms of Compressed Slab which are cast in predetermined moulds, recall confined living quarters, the smallness and fragility of the space we inhabit and speak
Compressed Slab - 002 - 75 cm, 2019, compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces
a restless sea. The unexpected flash of yellow, reminiscent of the watery sun in a monsoon sky, or the sun glimpsed through rugged mountain terrains the artist loves to explore when she is not ensconced in her studio. Gupta’s choice of materials and her creative extension of her medium imbues her works with an unexpected poetic intensity so that the spatial compositions of physical action are transformed into sculptural haikus. Manually cleaving dense cuboid works produces the Compressed and Cut series. Together with the Compressed Slab series, these works may be seen as the sculptural embodiments of the ballast of social, emotional, mental and physical pressures associated with metropolitan life and the inescapable weight of urban aspiration. Compressed and Cut - 001 for example, exposes a cross section of an intricately marbled sedimentary stratum. Each cut facet
Compressed and cut_001, 2019, compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually
discloses a different varyingly dense contour map. The outer, uncut facet offers a vista of a loose arrangement of strips with folds that recall cross sections of banded chalcedony crazy lace agates formed over centuries within volcanic rock, whilst some of the inner or cut facets are as tightly coalesced as cross sections of malachite stalagmitic formations deliberately linking it to antiquity and its subtext of superstition and symbols. It recalls the ‘Field of Malachite’ which ancient Egyptians believed was an eternal paradise in the afterlife, which resembled their lives but without the pain and suffering. The compacted strata facet may be seen an exploration of a personal geology exposing as it does a sensitive narrative, which interweaves personal history and memory through the cathartic ritual of repetition and aesthetic
reiteration. Exploring the strata and sub strata reveals an inner world that is enriched by references to philosophy, literature, film and personal experience all of which allow Gupta to discover, internalize and translate new methodologies of communication Formally, these three-dimensional objects are the largest the artist has attempted. Restrained in size, not out of artistic desire, or paucity of material, but by the dimensions of the industrial machine used to apply external pressure to the moulds and by the size and material of the moulds themselves. The exposed strata chart a movement in Gupta’s work marked by social realities which in itself permits a redefinition of previously held preconceptions of private and public spaces and a deliberation on the rhythms of physical and virtual space, as well as rural and urban space. Whereas, in rural areas, spaces are constructed to fit people, Gupta’s work suggests that in hyper urbanisation, people are constructed to fit spaces - to fit a pre-determined mould. Compression confers not only the pattern and colour but also infers the urgencies that are unique to urban spaces. In sharp contrast to Compressed Slab and Edges and Residues, the exposed facets of the Compressed and Cut sculptural objects are opulently communicative and replete with clandestine subtexts, which the artist herself is often unaware of and almost always denies. For Gupta, the emphasis is on art as a place making activity. Above all Gupta’s art, is a matter of constructing a relationship between herself and the world she inhabits. So, it is only natural that it is her art that moves her from the isolation of the studio and its processes, to a domain of connection with the community.
Contrary to the appearance of outward perfection, Gupta’s sculptural practice is crafted to disrupt the certitudes of life and art. Although the work itself is meticulous and an evocation of inherent potential, it does not offer up any neat explanations or trite resolutions. Drawing from her own disparate interests and fields of knowledge Gupta exploits her fascination with the transformative function, through the paradoxical combination of a worldly perspective and a singular vision. Seen against this backdrop, the Compressed Slab as well as the Compressed and Cut sculptures should be read as artefacts of transformation, monuments that commemorate a constitutive feature of Gupta’s practice - a simultaneous awareness of the particular and the universal. Embedded in Gupta’s work is the understanding that knowledge is produced as much through
rituals as oral histories and that these processes may be harnessed to convey a simultaneous sense of the possible and the sublime. The result is a coherent, series of works where shapes, and forms are transformed through considered interventions in an ongoing practice which constantly questions materiality. It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then —Lewis Carroll In his scholarly work Migrancy, Culture, Identity, Iain Chambers (1994) observes that migrancy “involves a movement in which neither the points of departure, nor those of arrival are immutable and certain” (Chambers 94:5) Migrancy, Chambers suggests, calls for a dwelling in places, histories, languages and identities that are subject to mutation and always in transit. According to Chambers, the promise of a homecoming therefore becomes an impossibility. Informed by migration and diasporic theory Gupta is engaged in a critical contemplation of her personal trajectory vis a vis the meta narratives of urbanisation, migration and globalisation. She parses her movement away from the comfortable confines of joint families to the amplified anxieties of nuclear families, from the constrictions and convictions that define small town living to the anonymities and uncertainties of megapolises, from the homeland, to the land that she now considers to be her home.
Edges and Residues 14 - Cold Grey on White and Paynes Grey, 2019, stacked oil paint skins burnt and stripped off jute and mounted on wooden structure
migration is a one-way trip, there is no “home” to go back to —Stuart Hall Said (1978:44) Savita Apte 26
Texts Cited. â€” Berger, John and Mohr, Jean, The Seventh Man, Verso London, 2010. Berger, John, Ways of Seeing, Penguin, London, 1972 Eds. Daryl Slack, Jennifer, Grossberg, Lawrence, Cultural Studies 1983: A Theoretical History, Duke University Press, 2016. Said, Edward, Orientalism, Pantheon Books, New York, 1978. Du Bois, W.E. B, The Souls of Black Folk, Dover Thrift Editions, Reprint, 1994. Chambers, Iain, Migrancy Culture Identity, Routledge, London, 1994. Papastergiadis, Nikos, Dialogues in the Diasporas, Essays and Conversations on Cultural Identity, Rivers Oram Press, London, 1998 Carroll, Lewis, Aliceâ€™s Adventures in Wonderland, Library of Alexandria, 1958. Sontag, Susan, Susan Sontag, A Reader, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, New York, 2014 Copyright Savita Apte
Savita Apte is an independent researcher and curator whose focus is on colonial and early postcolonial South Asian art history. Catalogue contributions by her include essays in Indian Highway (Serpentine Gallery, London, 2008); Critical Mass (Tel Aviv Museum, Israel, 2011); Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky (Griffiths Museum, Sydney, Australia, 2012), as well as entries for the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009). Other contributions appear in Global Local Mediations (Cambridge, 2007); Colour and Line (Brussels, 2016); and The Abraaj Collection (Brussels, 2016). From its inception in 2006 until 2015, Apte oversaw the Abraaj Group Art Prize and its publications. She has contributed a chapter to the book on Mehr Afroze which is under publication. Her essay on Francis Newton Souza will be published later in 2020 in ParaPolitics, a volume annotating the exhibition at Haus der Kulturen der Welt ( Germany, 2017).
Edges and Residues 12 - Neutral Grey on Black and Steel Blue Grey, 2019 stacked oil paint skins burnt and stripped off jute and mounted on wooden structure 133 x 169 cm (52.3 x 66.5 in) Private collection
Edges and Residues 14 - Cold Grey on White and Paynes Grey, 2019 stacked oil paint skins burnt and stripped off jute and mounted on wooden structure 133 x 169 cm (52.3 x 66.5 in) Private collection
Edges and Residues 13 - White on Cerulean Blue and Steel Blue Grey, 2019 stacked oil paint skins burnt and stripped off jute and mounted on wooden structure 138 x 169 cm (54.3 x 66.5 in) Private collection
Edges and Residues 15 - White on Bright Blue Grey and Paynes Grey, 2019 stacked oil paint skins burnt and stripped off jute and mounted on wooden structure 131 x 173 cm (51.5 x 68.1 in) Private collection
Compressed Slab_001_75 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces 75 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (29.5 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in)
Compressed Slab_003_75 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces 75 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (29.5 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in)
Compressed Slab_002_75 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces 75 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (29.5 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in)
Compressed Slab_004_75 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces 75 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (29.5 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in)
Compressed Slab_005_75cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpaulin surfaces 75 (L) x 10 (W) x 10 (H) cm (29.5 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in) Private collection
Compressed Slab_006_100 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces 100 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (39.3 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in) Private collection
Compressed and cut_004, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 50 (L) x 20 (W) x 12.5 (H) cm 19.6 (L) x 7.8 (W) x 4.9 (H) in Private collection
Compressed and cut_001, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 37 cm (L) x 30 cm (W) x 23 cm (H) 14.5 (L) x 11.8 (W) x 9 (H) in)
Compressed and cut_002, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 28 cm (L) x 25 cm (W) x 28 cm (H) (11 (L) x 9.8 (W) x 11(H) in) Private collection
Compressed and cut_003, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 40 cm (L) x 23 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (15.7 (L) x 9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in) Private collection
Compressed and cut_005, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 50 (L) x 20 (W) x 12.5 (H) cm (19.6 (L) x 7.8 (W) x 4.9 (H) in) Private collection
Compressed Slab_007_125 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces 125 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 10 cm (H) (49.2 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in)
Compressed and cut Slabs_001_100 cm, 2019 compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually 50 (L) x 10 (W) x 10 (H) cm each (19.6 (L) x 3.9 (W) x 3.9 (H) in each)
Originally from India, Kanchana Gupta currently lives and works in Singapore. Her on-going fascination with the materiality of paint has seen her investigate the physicality of the medium in her two-dimensional works, mixed media and more recently through her sculptural installations. Her practice has been described as a process driven exploration of and response to, urban environments. The pressures of unprecedented migrations, rapid urbanisations and overwhelming globalisation are expressed through the extreme manual and industrial duress that she subjects her medium to. Paint set on a sub structure of quotidian material is ritually ripped, torn, detached, peeled, burnt and compressed to produce works that expose the strata of a deeply personal geology. Her ongoing video explorations extrapolate the absence/presence of the human body which is only subtly alluded to in her earlier works. The videos meanwhile confront the trope of received femininity and its expected attributes. Kanchana received an MA in Fine Arts from LASALLE College of Arts, Singapore where she was the recipient of Dr. Winston Oh Travel Research Award. Since then, her works have featured in numerous group exhibitions, both in Singapore and internationallyâ€”in addition to which she has had three solo shows in Singapore. Her works are in institutional and private collections in Singapore, and in private collections in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Hong Kong and USA.
Master of Arts, Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore | Goldsmiths University of London
2008–2010 Diploma in Fine Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore 1998–1996
Post-Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi, India, Gold Medalist
Bachelor of Arts – BA (Hons), Geography (Hons), Sociology and English, Patna Women’s College, Patna, India, Gold Medalist
REFORMATIONS: Painting in Post 2000 Singapore Art, ADM Gallery, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Forms Please, 1335Mabini Gallery, Manila, Philippines
Threads and Tensions: Stories from Southeast Asia, Yeo Workshop, Singapore
And the rest of such things, Graduation Show for Master of Arts, Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
EMERGING: Selections from the DUO Collection, The Private Museum, Singapore
2015 Sweet Spot, Work-in-Progress Show for Master of Arts, Fine Arts, Brother Joseph Mcnally Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore The Coast is Clear: Dr. Winston Oh Travel Award, Project Space, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore TROPICAL LAB, Praxis Space, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore Phrase I Rephrase, Galerie Steph, Singapore [PURPLE]: Women of Mankind, One East Art Space, Singapore
Museum of Days, Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, Singapore
Solo Exhibitions 2019 458.32 Square Meters, Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, Singapore 2017
Traces and Residues, Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore
Identity II, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Trispace, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Selected Group Exhibitions
DRIVE: A Public Art Project, Singapore
Abstract Innovation!, One East Art Space, Singapore
The Black Frame Project : YourSingapore, Indigo Blue Art Gallery, Singapore
Displacements: A Community Art Project, 13 Wilkie Terrace, Singapore
2010 The LASALLE Show 2010, The Diploma in Fine Arts Graduation Show, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore Women in Arts Festival: Poetry in Action, Singapore Council of Women Organization, Singapore. ADD+ION, Praxis Space, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore 2009
Almost Accidental, Praxis Space, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Art Fairs and Auctions
2020 Taipei Dangdai Art Fair, Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan IMPART Awards Charity Auction, Art Outreach, Singapore 2019 Art Jakarta Art Fair, Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia S.E.A FOCUS Art Fair, Sullivan+Strumpf Gallery, Gillman Barracks, Singapore
Awards and Prizes
Dr. Winston Oh Travel Research Award, Master of Arts, Fine Arts Programme
Objectifs Centre for Photography and Films, Singapore
Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, USA, Hong Kong
Indian Heritage Center (part of National Heritage Board), Singapore
Apte, Savita. “458.32 Square Meters : Frayed, Fragmented and Fabricated”. 458.32 Square Meters, Sullivan+Strumpf, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Chiew, Elaine. 458.32 Square Meters, Sullivan+Strumpf, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Fam, Andrea. “Emergent Connections in an Interlocked/ Ing Art Ecosystem”. EMERGING: Selections from the DUO Collection, The Private Museum, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Apte, Savita. 458.32 Square Meters, Sullivan+Strumpf, Singapore, Curatorial Essay
Voragen, Roy. Forms Please, 1335Mabini Gallery, Manila, Philippines, Exhibition Catalogue
Annual Almanac, Volume 13, July 2017 to June 2018, Richard Koh Fine Art
Woo, Ian. Traces and Residues, Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Wee, Jason. Traces and Residues, Richard Koh Fine Art, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Annual Almanac, Volume 12, July 2016 to June 2017, Richard Koh Fine Art
Rojoiu, Anca. And the rest of such things, Graduation Show for Master of Arts, Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Woo, Ian. And the rest of such things, Graduation Show for Master of Arts, Fine Arts, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue
Sharma, Jeremy. The Coast is Clear: Dr. Winston Oh Travel Award, Institute of Contemporary Arts, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, Curatorial Essay
Ho, Michelle. REFORMATIONS: Painting in Post 2000 Singapore Art, ADM Gallery, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Curatorial Essay
Lawes, Viv. [PURPLE]: Women of Mankind, One East Art Space, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue Shen, Kimberely. Ellipsis Journal: January/February
2013 Purushotam, Nirmala Srirekam. “THE SHIOK, THE ALMANAC AND THE KIASU”. The Black Frame Project – YourSingapore, Indigo Blue Art Gallery, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue Beltrani, Daniella. Displacements – A Community Art Project, 13 Wilkie Terrace, Singapore, Exhibition Catalogue 2011 Shen, Kimberely. Glossary 2011: Trispace – A Review, a publication of Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Singapore
2020 “Residency Recap Artist Interview”. Objectifs Centre for Photography and Films [Singapore : Online], 16 April, https://www.objectifs.com.sg/residency-recap-kanchana gupta/ Shah, Frahan. “Blue Is The Warmest Colour”. The Peak, February, p. 72 2019 “The Multifaceted Meaning and Methodologies of Kanchana Gupta”. Cartellino Art [Manila : Online], 12 November, https://cartellino.com/shows/2019/11/12/ The-Multifaceted-Meanings-and-Methodologies-of Kanchana-Gupta
Tang, Donna. “SG Curators Shaping The Art We Should See: Michelle Ho Aims To Promote Alternative Voices
Through Art”. Her World [Singapore : Online], 20 May https://www.herworld.com/features/gallery-director-michelle ho-promote-alternative-voices-art/?utm_source=addthis&utm_ medium=facebook&utm_campaign=addthis&utm_content=SG +curators+shaping+the+art+we+should+see%3A+Michelle+Ho+ai ms+to+promote+alternative+voices+through+art&fbclid=IwAR1H n9E4-jn8vJPHbKoOtKpvyxbpm7TEyO4AEkCwJfDPyov3eMfW jBEqY Ong, Sor Fern. “Finding space for art : A look at studios of five artists”. The Straits Times [Singapore : Online], 13 May, https:// www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/finding-space-for-art-a-look at-the-studios-of-five-artists?fbclid=IwAR2wZFN1nuZ9RTV8N3 rY-dcuMjondD8W88ZvQzdcYfz8lRdnKZGTAUlsOXE 2018 Toh, Wen Li. “Opening doors to art”. The Straits Times, [Singapore : Online], 7 March, https://www.straitstimes.com/ lifestyle/arts/opening-doors-to-art
Salleh, Nur Asyiqin Mohamad. “Hour at the Museum : And The Rest Of Such Things”. The Straits Times [Singapore: Online], 29 April, https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/hour-at-the museum-and-the-rest-of-such-things 2015
Jingmei, Luo. “A Study in Layering”. design and architecture, Issue 088, p. 97
“Art of the week : ‘16102014’ by Kanchana Gupta”. Coconuts [Singapore : Online], 17 September, https://coconuts.co/singapore/ lifestyle/art-week-16102014-kanchana-gupta/ Shetty, Deepika. “Art for SG 50”. The Straits Times [Singapore: Online], 04 August, https://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/ art-for-sg50
“Featured Artist”. Asian Art News, March/April, p. 29
2017 Featured artist, ArtHop [Singapore : Online], https://arthop.co/ events/traces-and-residues-kanchana-gupta Featured artist, Randian [Singapore : Online], http://www.randian online.com/np_event/traces-and-residues-kanchana-gupta/ Featured artist, Luxuo [Singapore : Online], https://www.luxuo. com/culture/art/art-exhibition-in-january-2017-traces-and residues-by-kanchana-gupta-at-helutrans-singapore.html 2016 Chen Junni, “The Appearance of an Exhibition – Space, Things, and Art”. ArtHop [Singapore : Online], 7 May, https://arthop.co/ editorials/and-the-rest-of-such-things-martha-chaudhry kanchana-gupta-kathryn-kng-justin-lee-grace-tan-silke-schmickl lasalle
This catalogue is published to annotate and celebrate the solo exhibition by Kanchana Gupta titled 458.32 Square Meters, held at Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore, from 12 Oct, 2019 to 10 Nov, 2019 Image Courtesy Image 4 and 7 - Wugang Ng Image 8 - Yeo workshop, Singapore Image 3 - Caiyun Teo All Other Images - Hong Huazheng Cover Image Compressed and cut_007, 2019, compressed oil paint skins burnt and stripped off tarpauline surfaces, cut manually, 15 cm (L) x 10 cm (W) x 20 cm (H) (detail), Private Collection Image 3 copyright - Sullivan+Strumpf and Kanchana Gupta Image 8 copyright - Yeo Workshop, Singapore All other images copyright - Kanchana Gupta Text Copyright Interview - Elaine Chiew and Kanchana Gupta 458.32 Square Meters: Frayed, Fragmented and Fabricated - Savita Apte All Other Text - Kanchana Gupta Design Copyright Sullivan+Strumpf All rights reserved under international copyright conventions.