Art Exhibition

The Song of the Earth and the Sky by Ankon Mitra

The Gujral Foundation is pleased to announce an iconic public art project – commissioning temporary pavilions by selected artists, architects, and designers, that respond to interesting locations. For its inaugural edition, the Foundation will be commissioning a stand-alone pleated pavilion titled ‘The Song of the Earth and the Sky’ at Sunder Nursery, New Delhi designed by architect and hexagram artist Ankon Mitra. Reha Sodhi has been appointed as the curatorial advisor for the project. It will be open to the public for viewing from 30 January- 30 March 2020.

The Gujral Foundation completed it’s 10th year in 2018 which marked the beginning of the Foundation’s focus into the realm of architecture and design. This began with the presentation of the India pavilion at the London Design Biennale in September 2018 and continues through various initiatives including partnerships, exhibitions, outreach, interventions and forums in India and internationally. The Foundation aims to examine the effect of design and architecture on cultural landscape as well as propose larger
questions of the role of these within the spheres of nation-building, ownership of public space, and sustainable futures.
The artist will respond to the gardens of Sunder Nursery. He will create a pleated pavilion that takes inspiration from the arcade of the Sunderwala Mahal and responds to it by using origami forms. The pavilion, with the dimensions of 4m X 14m X 4m, will be constructed using Mild Steel Arch Frames, Hand-folded
sheet Aluminium, Copper finish, Pebbles, Grass, LED Lighting.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity, hopefully, the beginning of an annual pavilion building project in New Delhi, comparable to the prestigious Serpentine Pavilion in London or the MoMA PS1 in New York. I would like to laud the Gujral Foundation for spearheading this initiative and express my gratitude to Feroze for selecting me as the inaugural architect-artist to create this pavilion.” – Ankon Mitra

“The Gujral Foundation aims to provide a global platform for experimental projects by leading architects. For the inaugural year, Ankon Mitra has been invited to respond to the gardens of Sunder Nursery. The Song of the Earth and the Sky is a pleated pavilion that takes inspiration from the arcade of the Sunderwala Mahal and responds to it by using origami forms that are intertwined together. The combination of open and covered spaces creates a subtle interplay of light.” – Reha Sodhi (Curatorial Advisor)

In this reinvented and rediscovered garden of the Sunder Nursery, renewed and revitalized from history and brought into the present, the artist seeks to create a pavilion of rest and repose, a meditation on bliss, quiet kind of joy, one that reflects on the architecture of the past strewn all around itself, but with its eyes gazing into a distant future. This expression of joy is not one of exuberance, but a song of the soul, that reflects on the connections between things, of the earth meets the sky and embracing. At that moment, the garden dematerializes, and like all energies spiritual, becomes the universe.

The Gujral Foundation

The Gujral Foundation is a non-profit trust that was set up in 2008, to nurture talent in the realm of art, architecture, and design in the Indian subcontinent. Founded by Mohit and Feroze Gujral (the son and daughter-in-law of the renowned Indian modern artist Satish Gujral). The Foundation has been recognized as one of India’s leading art foundations. Over the last decade, the foundation has supported 150+ artists and 50+ exhibitions in India and internationally including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, My East is Your West – a collateral event at the 56th Venice Biennale, Contour Biennale 8, the11th Shanghai Biennale, the 8th Berlin Biennale, The State of Indigo at the London Design Biennale, Colomboscope and the contemporary Indian artists Desire Machine Collective at The British Museum. Previously on the boards of the IGNCA in India, the Serpentine and the Guggenheim, Feroze Gujral is on the international council of the Tate, a Founding Patron and Trustee of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale and the Founder Director of Outset India – a global philanthropic art Fund. Through its innovative programming at 24, Jor Bagh, Studio G-Spot, and patron-driven initiatives such as Studio Makers, The Gujral Foundation has pioneered new models for corporate, institutional and individual support for the arts and culture in India.

Feroze Gujral (Founder and Director, The Gujral Foundation)

Feroze Gujral is an art patron, philanthropist, businesswoman, former model, and media personality. She is the co-founder and trustee for India’s first biennale, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, established in 2012. She is on the international board of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the advisory board of IGNCA, New Delhi. Feroze Gujral has also been an ambassador for Save The Children and WWF, a columnist for Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and Vogue (India), and a pioneer of TEDx India and curator for TEDx Delhi.

Ankon Mitra

Ankon Mitra is an architect, landscape designer and pioneer of Origami in India. He is the director (Landscape and Art Projects) at Hexagramm Design Pvt. Ltd., based in New Delhi. Through the initiative (and brand) – Architecture, his studio has taken the art and craft of Origami to materials well beyond paper. Recipient of the All-India Gold Medal for Sculpture in 2018 from the Prafulla Dahanukar Foundation, his art has been awarded at exhibitions in India, Italy, France, U.K, U.S. and China, most recently the Shanghai Paper Art Biennale in 2019, and forms a part of prestigious collections worldwide. A member of the British Origami Society, Origami USA, the Sculpture Network in Europe and the Paper Artist’s Collective Worldwide, his work has been published in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s catalog of ‘Papercrafts’ brought out by the Thames and Hudson in 2018.

Reha Sodhi

Reha Sodhi is a curator and scenographer based in New Delhi, India. She has worked on several exhibitions of South Asian modern and contemporary art as well as textiles. Some of her recent projects include India-Kyrgyzstan: Colours and Weaves at the Kyrgyz National Drama Theatre, Bishkek; Astha Butail: In the Absence of Writing at the Gujral Foundation, New Delhi; Pra-Kashi at the National Museum, New Delhi; New Traditions at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur; and A Search in Five Directions: Textiles from the Visvakarma Exhibitions, presented by National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum in collaboration with Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi. She was the curatorial assistant for Whorled Explorations at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014. Reha is one of the co-founders of Project Jan-Path, an open house initiative where artists and designers are invited to create site-specific works within a domestic setting. She holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary Art from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London and Bachelors in Fine Arts (Applied Arts) from the College of Art, New Delhi, India.

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