Published: Vervemagazine.in, May 2014
Waswo X. Waswo critiques the process of “museumification” in a show at Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai
1. Artistic Motivation I grew up in an artistic family, so art has been part of my life since day one. It’s sort of a cliche to say art is about communication. Maybe I think about it more as a way to examine issues, and the world around me. It is in large part a way I look outward, but also self-examine.
2. Inspirations I could name a long list of artists and photographers who have inspired me, and still do. But for this particular exhibition I have to name a member of my own family, Ed Green, whose job it was to organise the painting of dioramas in the local natural history museum. This show is all about the issues that arise from that.
3. Art in your home Besides making my own art, I’ve also formed a very large collection of Indian printmaking. That collection was shown last year at the NGMA-Mumbai. So my home is filled with vintage and contemporary etchings and woodcuts by well-known Indian artists. My interest in printmaking is why I asked the young lithographer Subrat Behera Kumar to be a part of this show.
4. Concerns that show up in your art I’m concerned with how the world is being torn apart, it seems everywhere, by cultural misunderstandings. A large part of my art has been to explore these misunderstandings, and try to learn what creates them.
5. If you weren’t an artist, you would be… Believe it or not, when I was young, I also wanted to work in a museum like my cousin Ed. I dreamt about being a ‘curator’ long before that word came into common usage and fashion. If I hadn’t followed an art career, maybe that is where I would have found myself.
The show Sleeping Through the Museum previews tonight and is on until June 21, 2014 (11pm-6pm) at Sakshi Art Gallery (6/19, Grants Building, 2nd Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, Mumbai.)