India’s largest-ever steel installation

The diversity of new media art in India added yet another feather to its cap with the official unveiling of "Line of Control", a monumental steel sculpture, by the country's leading contemporary artist Subodh Gupta at the South Court Mall in Saket in the capital on Friday.

It is made of stainless steel kitchen utensils and culinary equipment like plates, bowls, ladles, spoons, tiffin boxes, sieves and saucers. These objects have been the core of Mr Gupta's deviant art practice since 1989 when he first exhibited stainless steel sculptures.

Mr Subodh Gupta said that "The sculpture a public art installation is shaped like a giant mushroom cloud with a base, symbolising the troubled borders and times we live in and also redemption.”

Described by critics as one of Mr Gupta's largest works, the installation was brought back to India from London by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. It measures 36 X 36 ft and weighs 20 tonnes.

Mr Gupta said that "The 'Line of Control' stereotypically brings to mind geo-political crisis but I have used it as a poetic metaphor to transgress and subvert the known meaning and wittily present a cloudburst of another kind - of prosperity, peace and harmony.”

The artist said he had "first thought about the proposal in 2005 and started working on it in 2007-2006."

Mr Gupta said that the shining stainless steel utensils have many dimensions. He said that "I love cooking and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. The stainless steel utensils are so shining and so bright it symbolises the brightness and the emptiness of a shining India.”

Inaugurating the installation, Kiran Nadar, owner of the Kiran Nadar Museum said that "I was overwhelmed by the installation when I first saw it at the Tate Triennale in London in 2009. Tate is a grandiose kind of building very cutting-edge. It looked like a mushroom cloud invoking memories of Hiroshima and the nuclear bomb."

Mr Nadar said one of her objectives was to make it accessible to common people.

Friday, April 20, 2012