Fragile

Sameer Kulavoor’s practice expands on his unique observations of urban spaces. These nuanced compositions of contemporary structures underscore his affinity towards cities and their multi-layered identities. In many ways, his works delve into the present state of life and explore how quotidian structures are crucial to our understanding of society. 

This new series, titled FRAGILE, examines the themes that he investigated in his last exhibition at TARQ, YOU ARE ALL CAUGHT UP in 2020 in which Sameer surveyed the changes that took place in the city during the first lockdown. Devoid of the usual abundance of people to observe, Sameer expanded his viewpoint to include architectural structures which came to embody the basic form of the city. 

These isometric artworks are representative of the different structures we see in our cities. Influenced by instances of buildings being washed away by floods and the fluctuating inhabitation of urban environments, Sameer turned to the fragility of corrugated boxes as a replacement for canvas. FRAGILE is a response to the push and pull between past and present, formal and informal, form and function and the formations, structures and shapes that occur as a result of this tension.

In a text about the work, Sameer says, “Since the onset of the pandemic, I couldn’t help but draw a connection between corrugated boxes and the state of urban housing. Spaces in high-density population areas are essentially boxes for human lives – just about meeting the basic requirements… The outer shape of the die-cut unfolded boxes reminds me of the odd shaped spaces and available floor areas into which housing is somehow retrofitted.”

TARQ Mumbai