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Of Forgotten Spaces and Sepia Skies

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Mono no aware (物の哀れ) which literally means the “pathos of things” is also translated as “an empathy toward things” or “a sensitivity to ephemera”. Mono no aware is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (mujō) – transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as being appreciative of the little things.

I have been struck by the paradoxical encounter of feeling colossal gratification in dealing with aching subject matter, both imaginatively and in engaging with apt research. This conundrum led me to consider the question – or in fact questions – What structures are more conducive to affective memory work? What makes a place memorable? Does activity, rituals, texture, events, materiality, design or scale make a place memorable? What if I could fabricate spaces not bound by the limitations of the architectural discourse but only based on how they were remembered?

While some artists, philosophers, physicists, theorists may refer to temporal aspects of ‘past’ and ‘present’, I became more occupied during the residency with the nuances of multi-layering of time (of time moving back and forth) and of dispensing memory through my Structures to reference past events while contemplating the present and the future. Through making Zarukho (balcony) I kept questioning and reconfiguring the identity of cities vis-a-vis their architectural fabric and also point towards the rapid urbanization leading to discarded, depleted and deserted core structures of the city…

I may not just be a flaneur but also an archivist, constantly drawn to the structures of the city – driven to immortalize it. Zarukho (Balconies) are an important historical archive, which unfolds as a narrative in my Sculpture conveyed through it’s own systematic structural reconfiguration. My house becomes a part of collective history through the lens of my memory. People can be very fragile and structures are something that gives me a sense of stability; so I want to capture these unappreciated, forgotten liminal but primarily important intimate discourse spaces.

Though the structures are gone from my life, the photographs were there. And when the photographs were gone, the memories were there. Regardless, if the memories disappear, the sculptures will remain…

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