New Delhi: The worlds of art and fashion have always shared a common bond, an almost symbiotic relationship. This connection between art and fashion has existed before recorded history and continues to grow, adapt and reflect the trends. KHOJ International Artists’ Association presents The Idea of Fashion – an exhibition that showcases work done by five artists and fashion designers during a unique art and fashion residency at Khoj Studios. The exhibition will be on at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi fromFebruary 17, 2011 – Feb 28, 2011, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The participating fashion designers and artists of the residency who will show their works are Mithu Sen (artist, New Delhi), Manisha Parekh (artist, New Delhi), Anay Mann (photographer, New Delhi), Arjun Saluja (fashion designer, New Delhi) and Kallol Datta (fashion designer, Kolkata).
Says Pooja Sood, Director Khoj International Artist Association: “The residency questions the role that fashion plays in shaping everyday realities and dreams, the individual and collective processes of identity, self perception, communication; what is intended with these perceptions and processes? What is achieved and what is at play here, what is at stake and the powerful role that fashion has played in history and continues to play. The main idea of the residency is to explore what fashion means to an individual, and how we can one start seeing it as an artifact and instrument in society beyond fashion as we understand it of the ‘fashion shows’ and ‘fashion weeks”.
Through art installations and garments, the artists and designers presents different perceptions about fashion. As per Anay Mann and Mithu Sen, the workshop is more about understanding and delving into how fashion changes identity and behaviour. On the other hand, artist Manisha Parekh treats the residency as a physiological journey into the minds of fashion designers to understand the attitude and philosophy behind experimenting with various fabrics and materials..
The two fashion designers Arjun Saluja and Kallol Dutta want to get back to the basics and experience the excitement of group working and hence understand the minds of artist and how they use it in terms of fashion. Both of them believe that artists and fashion designers both have same sense of expression though the medium is different.
About Mithu Sen
Born in 1971 in West Bengal, Mithu Sen obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in painting from Kala Bhavan at Santiniketan in 1995 and 1997 respectively, and later, completed a postgraduate program at the Glasgow School of Art in the United Kingdom on the prestigious Charles Wallace India Trust Award for 2000-2001. In her work Mithu Sen studies self-perception and the influence of society on our identity and development. She engages in general questions of gender in postmodernism as well as with the subjective experience of femininity and sexuality in post-emancipation. Mithu Sen's works often contain an autobiographical aspect, allowing the manner in which she copes as a successful artist in an emerging nation to become a part of her work.
About Manisha Parekh
Parekh studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University in Baroda, and at the Royal College of Art, London on an INLAKS scholarship.
Parekh has exhibited extensively in India, Germany and the United Kingdom. She has also completed a stint as a teacher teaching at the M. S. University in Baroda. Some of Parekh’s solo exhibitions include ‘Wonder Woods’ at Bodhi Art, New York, in 2008; ‘Shadow Gardens’ at Berkeley Square Gallery and Saffronart, London, in 2006; ‘Memory Membrane’ at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, in 2006; Nature Morte, New Delhi, in 2004, 2002, 2000 and 1999; Gallery Foundation for Indian Artists, Amsterdam, in 1999; Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 1996; Goethe-Institute, Bonn, in 1995; and IFA Gallery, Bonn, in 1995. Her work has been included in exhibits such as the Havana Biennale of 2001 and the Istanbul Biennale of 1999, and she has taken part in several residencies including the Erasmus exchange in Berlin and the Heinrich- Boll fellowship in Bonn. The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
About Anay Mann
Began photographing in 2001. The stage portraits became the idiom he sought to explore with his camera. Mann’s project – Generations in Transition – portraits of young urban Indians was exhibited in 2004. Images from this series were included in the 13th Noorderlicht International Photofestival (2006) in the Netherlands. Since 2001, he has been photographing his wife, Neetika. This series of portraits, About Neetika, was exhibited in a group exhibition –Watching me, Watching India – at the Fotografie Forum International (2006) in Frankfurt, Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 years of photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at The Whitechapel, London (2009). About Neetika was exhibited as a solo exhibition at the Rencotres D’Arles festival and Ateliers de L’Image in Marseille in 2007. Mann was commissioned to create a public art exhibition – Equal Dreams - Potraits of Indians (2006), in New Delhi, which was also included in Photoquai Biennale at the Musee du Quay Branly, Paris, 2007. In 2009l Mann’s self-potraits titled The Red Room were included in a group exhibition, The Self and the Other – Potraiture in contemporary Indian photography for the Palau de la Virreina and Artium in Spain. Anay Mann lives in New Delhi and is represented by Photoink, Delhi.
About Arjun Saluja
One of the accomplished fashion designers in India, has always managed to contribute something extra ordinary to the world of fashion. In 1998, he Attained Graduation from Philadelphia College of Textile and Science fashion in Merchandising and Design degree. After that Arjun returned to pave his base in India and created the first collection of his New Label Rishta. During the end of 1999, he went back to New York and gave the city an experience of Indian Culture even when India was not that much modish.
Arjun's hard work and inimitable way of designing gave him an immediate success by selling to stores like Henri Bendel, Anthropologie, Barnets Japan and various high-end boutiques like Tootsies. Inspired by the cultures and relationships during the journey between Delhi and New York, he could launch his own new label Rishta in 2005. Stirred from Nature, in his opinion, Rishta is for a woman with a sense of style who narrate her own statement with a series of different elements. The Rishta designs were a traditional couture from the '60s which is fused with a contemporary funky look to reflect a 'hippie from Manali' look in every woman.
Elle Magazine hailed Arjun as one of the hottest designers of 2006.
About Kallol Datta
Graduated in Fashion Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India and followed it up with a Womenswear degree from Central St. Martins, London 2006. He travelled for a year post London and finally kick started his namesake label – Kallol Datta 1955, with his Spring Summer 2008 runway presentation at Mumbai Fashion Week. Kallol was born in the Middle East and spent until his high school years in various countries in the region. After being exposed to bling during his formative years, he swore off it and the label is now known in India for relaxed silhouettes and signature prints.Kallol Datta 1955 has been retailing at alternative multi-designer stores across India and has been featured in Autore, Vogue, Elle, Verve, Grazia, www.style.com, WGSN, Stylesight.com, Marie Claire, and L’Officiel amongst others.
About Mayank Mansingh Kaul (Critic in Residence/ Co-curator)
studied textile design at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. His interest in khadi and the future of hand-technologies led him to be a consultant to the Planning Commission on the taskforce on Cultural and Creative Industries. He has a line of fashion garments and home textiles which use traditional Indian textiles, including organic cotton and he is currently authoring a series of monographs entitled India Wearing, which bring fashion in India under discussion from an anthropological perspective.His interests range from theatre, the creative and cultural economy, appropriate technologies to new paradigms of business and art. He lives in New Delhi.