Born 1973, Chennai, India
Lives and works in Bangalore
Most of my recent work stems from my personal experiences over the years. Riding the wave of a burgeoning economy, there is such an unprecedented and sudden spurt in developmental activities in and around Bangalore that the city is finding it hard to come to terms with, socially and environmentally. One direct cause of this has been massive construction activities, particularly in the housing sector. Ridiculous concepts, horrendous ideas and ecologically unsound projects are being undertaken on an unimaginable scale and my current work references some of these. Krishnaraj Chonat 1
Krishnaraj Chonat’s sculpture, installation and live work is highly critical of certain aspects of the rapid development taking place throughout India, particularly around his home city of Bangalore. Recently, Krishnaraj Chonat made a performance in Bombay in which a huge cake of mud, covered with a layer of red clay embedded with objects such as plastic shoes, was served up to invited guests. An observation upon two opposite realities, that of rich and poor, that never meet and the conspicuous consumption of the new Indian bourgeoisie. Krishnaraj Chonat identifies property development as one of the most pernicious phenomena in present day India His work comments satirically upon how real estate costs are shooting up even in the outskirts of Bangalore where Venetian bungalows and the replicated images of houses from South California are on offer to the new rich. He expresses these opposites in his work Private Sky 2006 in which a large fur moon hangs over a wooden house built in a Southern Carolinian style and mounted in the branches of a dead tree at the foot of which sits a huge mosquito. Krishnaraj Chonat has a studio out in the real estate development and he describes how it gets full of mosquitoes in the evenings and his to struggle to keep them away, another allusion to the differences occurring between the old India and the new. Painted entirely in white, Private Sky is constructed out of deliberately opposing materials that are designed to accentuate the opposites that divide Indian society more and more as material development takes place In the past Private Sky has been shown in a mirrored room in which the spectator becomes included in the work and the house goes on for ever in an endless suburban wasteland.
1 Artists’ quotes taken from: Bousteau, F. ed., 2007. Made by Indians. Galerie Enrico Navarra