IFA@Bhopal: Old Routes, New Journeys II by Abeer Gupta & Making a Home by Rathin Barman | IGRMS | Opening: October 31, 2017

India Foundation for the Arts
in collaboration with
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS)
Two Site-Specific Installations at the IGRMS
Old Routes, New Journeys II
by Abeer Gupta
Making a Home
by Rathin Barman
Opening: October 31, 2017 | 03:00 PM | IGRMS
On view between: November 01 - 15, 2017 | 10:00 AM - 05:30 PM

Shymala Hills, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Join us for the opening of two site-specific installations - Old Routes, New Journeys II and Making a Home - by Abeer Gupta and Rathin Barman respectively, at the IGRMS, Bhopal on Tuesday, October 31, 2017!

These two site-specific projects have emerged from research done by Abeer Gupta and Rathin Barman at the Museum. They are the result of a year-long Archival and Museum Fellowship that has been supported by IFA in collaboration with the IGRMS, Bhopal. The IGRMS, is one of the only 'anthropology' museums in the country that houses the 'material culture' of communities and peoples in India. These fellowships gave Abeer and Rathin the opportunity to engage with and explore innovative ways of presenting two particular sections of the museum - the Ladakhi and Northeastern sections of India - from a contemporary context.

Abeer Gupta is a visual anthropologist, currently working as Assistant Professor at the School of Design at Ambedkar University, Delhi. His research and projects are focused in the western Himalayas, in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, around oral histories, material cultures, and visual archives.

His project at the IGRMS Old Routes, New Journeys II is set within the transformation of Ladakh from a significant center of Himalayan and central Asian trade networks to a distant outpost of India. Abeer has chosen a group of objects from the collections of the IGRMS - the Bogh, a colourful cape worn over the long woolen garments by women; the Pabu and Lapul, locally made warm shoes; and the Tibril and Melang, a local utensil for serving warm tea - to map this transformation. The process of their making, patterns of circulation and modes of use today, reveal a variety of stories. Chemat Dorjay, a contemporary artist from Ladakh, who collaborated with Abeer has responded to these stories through two installations which become a conversation between art and material culture.

Rathin Barman is a visual artist, and lives and works in Kolkata. Architecture is one of the primary concerns of Rathin's practice. He interacts with people to collect memories, oral histories about landscapes and homes which he then translates into drawings and sculptural objects.

Making a Home is a site-specific project that has grown out of a workshop that Rathin organized at the IGRMS called Sitting at the Yard. Using the houses of the Northeast region of India (that have been replicated in the outdoor galleries of the IGRMS), as the point of departure for his workshop, Rathin conducted a series of conversations with a group of young architects from the Northeast (but currently living in Bhopal). Based on the 'collective memories of home' that emerged from these conversations, Rathin has created an installation of site-specific drawings and sculptures/sculptural objects within the architectural replica in the museum.

The Archival and Museum Fellowships initiative of India Foundation for the Arts supports practitioners to engage with archives and museum collections, and re-present them through a new framework.

Abeer Gupta and Rathin Barman received fellowships from India Foundation for the Arts, under the Archival and Museum Fellowship initiative, with support from Tata Trusts.