Vivan Sundaram: Residency

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VI, no. 1, p. 24, September/October 1994:

Vivan Sundaram was trained as a painter in Baroda and London in the mid-sixties, and has been exhibiting his paintings for over twenty-five years. For the last three to four years his work has moved away from oil on canvas to works on paper, often in units that extend to the floor. More recently they are sculptural in form. He has also used a whole range of materials from stone, wood, steel, glass, plexiglas, engine oil, and photographs. Sometimes the assemblages have the characteristics of an installation.

At OBORO in Montreal, he is showing House/Boat. The house is a two metre cube structure of steel and handmade paper, with motifs suggesting violence. On entry, however, the viewer finds a luminous white space in the centre of which there is a video monitor on “fire” seen through a vessel of water, placed on top of the screen. The outwardly scarred sculpture is an object, a shelter and a shrine. Outer and inner surfaces and spaces are not seen as a unified entity, they change features. The viewer walks around the structure to be drawn to the hearth and thus discover the discrete presence of the video.

At the Western Front, apart from developing the video input he brings from India, he will explore video sculptural work with the human body: as representation of gender and colour, through fragmentation and conflict, to reconfigure into a unity, by presenting many bodies part and whole with a large number of monitors.

Sundaram produced the work Couples Photo Album, Vancouver during this residency.