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Artist Vivan Sundaram remembered

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Artist Vivan Sundaram remembered

The Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat) Art Collective Monday organized a program in Delhi in memory of contemporary artist Vivan Sundaram who died of brain haemorrhage at the age of 79 on March 23.

Sundaram’s memorial program held at Jawahar Bhavan included an exhibition of pictures and videos from his life and works from his artistic career that spanned over six decades.

The speakers at the event included Marxist economist Prabhat Patnaik, historian Sohail Hashmi, artists Gulammohammed Sheikh, art scholar Ashish Rajadhyaksha, director and curator of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art Roobina Karode, art historian Tapati Guha Thakurta, curator of Tate Modern Senior Curator International Art (Photography) at Tate Modern Yaufumi Nakamori and theater director Anuradha Kapur.

On ‘Memorial’ (1993–2014), a room-size installation by Sundaram, which is on display at Tate Modern, Nakamori said, “Sundaram carefully took charge of how every small component needed to be placed. The entire exercise was done remotely”. Nakamori said that the use of the photograph as a sculpture material makes ‘Memorial’ unique.

“Sundaram used his original image in a variety of ways, employing it as both a sculptural support and surface as well as a dominant visual metaphor. I urge all of you to visit the installation at Tate Modern as it will be on display till September 3,” Nakamori said.

Anuradha Kapur, spoke about 409 Ramkinkars, one of the projects she collaborated with Sundaram. “409 Ramkinkars was dedicated to the life of artist Ramkinkar Baij. It brings together theatre, performance art and installation,” she said.

Sundaram is survived by wife Geeta Kapur. His influential works include Place for People (1981), History Project (1998), Sher-Gil Archive (1995), and digital photomontages, Re-take of Amrita (2001–06), Trash (2008), GAGAWAKA: Making Strange ( 2011), Black Gold (2012) and Postmortem (2013), among others.

Sundaram was born in Shimla in 1943. His father Kalyan Sundaram was chairman of the Law Commission of India from 1968 to 1971, and his mother Indira Sher-Gil was sister of noted artist Amrita Sher-Gil, and daughter of Umrao Singh Sher-Gil. , son of Raja Surat Singh of Majithia in Punjab.

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