Contemporary Art

Holy waters

Exploring the cultural and spiritual significance of water in India and around the world

Ancestral histories/ stories #1

This artwork titled Ancestral Histories/ stories #1 is by Saju Kunhan (b. 1983)  It is one of seven works from the Home Ground series, each of which imagines a historical event connected to the artist’s ancestors. Saju Kunhan has incorporated characters into stories he has heard when he was a  child by using pictures and… Read more »

Herschel’s Galaxy I

This artwork composed using gold leaf on paper is by Desmond Lazaro (b. 1968). It is inspired by the first modern image of the Milky way produced by William Hershel (1738-1822), a British astronomer, in 1785. Herschel mapped his observations from 600 locations while plotting the night sky section by section to create the model.… Read more »

“Love Is Contraband in Hell”

This composition in watercolour on wasli paper is by  artist Varunika Saraf (b. 1981). Varunika Saraf believes that the only means of combating societal prejudices, bigotry, and discrimination is through the power of love. This work is inspired by the poem “Love is contraband in Hell” written by Assata Shakur(b. 1947), an American civil rights… Read more »

The Canopy

This composition is a 23 carat gold on paper titled ‘The Canopy’ by Jethro Buck (b. 1986). Jethro Buck attempts to draw our attention away from ourselves and into a contemplation of treetops and the limitless space beyond. Through the canopy, we get a glimpse at the profound infinity of the universe. To the artist,… Read more »

Kansari (Goddess of Seeds)

This Warli artwork titled ‘Kansari’ is by Tushar Vayeda (b.1987) and Mayur Vayeda (b.1992), artists based in Ganjad, Maharashtra.  The Warli way of life is the way of the forest. The spirits worshipped by the tribe are personifications of natural phenomena. One such spirit is the subject of Tushar and Mayur Vayeda’s painting, Kansari, named… Read more »

The Wave

This Warli artwork titled ‘The Wave’ is by Tushar Vayeda (b.1987) and Mayur Vayeda (b.1992), artists based in Ganjad, Maharashtra.  Tushar and Mayur Vayeda retell a Warli legend in this work. There’s a belief in the community that in each life cycle of the earth, waves of natural and man-made disasters will strike until eventually,… Read more »

Untitled (Kerala Flood)

This composition is a 2018 ‘Untitled’ work in gouache on Japanese paper by Dibin K. Thilakan (b. 1989).  Created after the catastrophic 2018 Kerala floods, Dibin Thilakan’s painting obscures boundaries between land and water. The floods caused widespread displacement and damage across the state. While he highlights the helplessness of the average citizen awaiting relief… Read more »

Untitled

This composition is an Untitled work by Gopa Trivedi (b. 1987) made from gold and graphite on wasli.  Gopa Trivedi’s work illuminates our individual and collective anxieties about a slow degradation eating at the ground beneath our feet. The stork in this composition symbolises apathy. Gopa is inspired by Indian miniature painting traditions to create… Read more »

Somewhere in Northeast India Pt-I

This woodcut print by Chandan Bez Baruah (b. 1979) is titled ‘Somewhere in Northeast India Pt-I’ and was created in 2020. The desolation of Chandan Bez Baruah’s landscape speaks volumes. It bears witness to an ecosystem brutalised by rampant urbanisation. To the artist, there’s a close link between the collapsing of natural and political diversities… Read more »

Untitled

This work from the series ‘Unborn’ by Anju Acharya (b.1992) illustrates a realistically rendered fish on rice paper. The fish appears to be preparing to give birth. The overarching themes in Acharya’s series ‘Unborn’ are birth, death, and decay. She draws on her personal pregnancy experience. She considers how this connects her to all the… Read more »

Untitled

This work from the series Unborn by Anju Acharya (b.1992),  illustrates a realistically rendered skeleton of a fish. Birth, says Acharya, can only be comprehended entirely when viewed in the context of death. All in between is the process of deterioration. In this piece, she portrays how changes in nature impact the body of living… Read more »

The River Flows in me (Ennilekku Ozhukunna nadi)

This mixed media work by Pradeepkumar charts a landscape in portrait format with a river descending the centre of the picture. Pradeepkumar KP (b. 1970) weaves a narrative centred around the water body to reiterate its power, stillness and ability to destroy and flourish. The work moves beyond notions of the scenic and picturesque to… Read more »

Din ne jab dhoop kou siyaahi mein badalte dekha

Din ne jab dhoop kou siyaahi mein badalte dekha is part of a suite of seventeen works called Naguftaha – e – Hawwa (The unspoken words of Hawwa) created by Arshi Irshad Ahmadzai (b.1988). The Koh-e Asmaai (mountain of Goddess Asmai) in front of the artist’s apartment in Kabul served as the inspiration for this work. To… Read more »

Holy waters

Exploring the cultural and spiritual significance of water in India and around the world

Collecting art & artefacts

Sarmaya Founder Paul Abraham and Brand Custodian Pavitra Rajaram acquire objects to continually enrich our museum’s collection. In this Guide, they share some great advice with young collectors on how to engage meaningfully with the art and culture of India

Shadows under my sky – 4

This artwork titled ‘Shadows under my sky – 4’ is a woodblock created by  Soghra Khurasani (b. 1983), contemporary artist based in Vadodara (Baroda), Gujarat. Landscapes are a significant feature in Soghra Khurasani’s work as inspiring, open spaces that can be explored. This woodblock was part of Khurasani’s solo show, Shadows under my sky, at… Read more »

Koh-e Asmai – The unspoken words of Havva

In this essay, Arshi Irshad Ahmadzai takes us into the beating heart of her art practice that carries the fragrance of Najibabad and Kabul, and the poetry of Rumi and Ghalib

Untitled (Horizon Scroll)

This Untitled work is part of a series showcasing Horizon lines by artist Aditi Singh (b.1976), made using Ink on Washi Paper in 2020. The work showcases the horizon line of a city, which Singh explored by walking. The artist took meditative walks in Nepal, Sierra Nevada, the lake district of the UK, and more… Read more »