Vishal K. Dar: Storm Deities (Maruts)

Vishal K. Dar: Storm Deities (Maruts)

The Gujral Foundation

Vishal K. Dar, Storm Deities (Maruts), 2016.

November 11, 2016
Vishal K. Dar
Storm Deities (Maruts)
at the 11th Shanghai Biennale
November 12, 2016–March 12, 2017
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Power Station of Art
678 Miaojiang Road
200011 Shanghai

The Gujral Foundation, a philanthropic endeavour for the arts initiated in 2008, has firmly established itself as a dynamic force for the support and promotion of Indian and South Asian contemporary art both in India, and across the globe. Recent projects include exhibitions and collaborations with leading institutions such as The Guggenheim, The British Museum, the Berlin Biennale, the Kochi Muziris Biennale, and the Venice Art Biennale.

Pursuing the objective of creating and facilitating such opportunities for leading artists on the international art scene, The Gujral Foundation is proud to present Storm Deities (Maruts), a new site-specific and immersive light installation by Indian artist Vishal K. Dar. The work will be installed in the iconic chimney of the Power Station of Art at the 11th Shanghai Biennale, on display from November 11, 2016–March 12, 2017.

In the belly of a 165 metre tall industrial chimney of an old defunct thermal power station in Shanghai, Dar reimagines Maruts, the storm deities (the Rig Veda describes Maruts as a troop of young warriors, companions of Indra, the God of Clouds; Storm Deities, capable of shaking mountains and destroying forests). Seven oscillating beams of light set to varying metronomic meters create a hallucinatory zone, each beam of light an object with a distinct time-code.

The base of the chimney is transformed into a reflective pool and viewers experience Maruts from a spiral ramp inside the chimney, accessed through the main building of the Power Station of Art. The notion of presence, of being in the midst of the work, is central to the experience of Maruts. Visitors will access the chimney structure from the 20-meter level bridge directly into the chimney and then spiral down to the base for the exit.

Vishal K. Dar comments, “The site-specific installation activates the space; it investigates place-making through the viewers’ presence who witness Maruts. It is a world made of time; like time, it plays with cognitive illusions, as a world of impressions; a world without architecture; a world of shifting space. Each beam of oscillating light is an object without purpose. Maruts could be a lovers’ garden; it could be a storm that is brewing between somewhere and nowhere.”

The Gujral Foundation has been a mentor and a supporter of Vishal K. Dar since 2011. His practice extends outside the gallery often into abandoned and challenging sites. Using diverse mediums, light is a recurring motif and has been powerfully harnessed in many of his works including this one.

The theme for the 11th Shanghai Biennale curated by Indian-based artists Raqs Media Collective is Why Not Ask Again? Maneuvers, Disputations & Stories. Their invitation to artists is nothing short of a provocation to respond to the task of a re-imagining of the world and Vishal K. Dar is one of 39 artists selected to make this response.

Press contact: Nidhi Awasty, FLINT
nidhi.awasty [​at​] / T +91 (0) 98 995 98 586 

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November 11, 2016

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