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Arts Seminar

Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, Visiting Artist, SAI Arts Program

Chair: Chitra Venkataramani, South Asian Studies Fellow, South Asia Institute

Kandalgaonkar’s art practice focuses primarily on unseen or ignored processes of urbanization. In his work, he draws upon contemporary visual arts media, archival documentation and historical artifacts to document, represent and critique urban flows. cityinflux is the name of his practice and an ode to the city’s urban condition that he is continuously invested in unlocking.

About Ranjit Kandalgaonkar’s work:

Since 2009, Stories of Philanthropic Trusts is a research project documenting all the communities living in 19th century Bombay and recording their philanthropic activities. Prior to that, Kandalgaonkar had collaborated with two architects on a project named Gentricity. It is a composite project covering urban planning, public culture, and visual art. The project has developed some multi-disciplinary paintings of localities in Mumbai, which represent narratives of the sites examined (old tenements and mixed-housing scenarios). build/browse looked at markets across London and Mumbai and aims to install an ongoing alternate archive of oral histories of objects found in markets. The online platform allows the public to engage in this project in the form of an interactive building game made with the help of web-coders. 7 isles unclaimed is a speculative/science fiction work imagining the original 7 island archipelago of Mumbai as never having become the reclaimed land form it is today. The stories, drawings and fictive maps re-imagine points in history where the city narrative could have gone either way.

The Arts at SAI initiative connects South Asia’s curators, museum administrators, artists, and art educators with Harvard faculty and students to support activity and research that advance understanding and appreciation of the tapestry of South Asian art and the heritage that defines its voice in the world.