Chintan Upadhyay

Artist/Art Project Director
Born in 1972, Rajasthan, India. Currently based in Mumbai. Has participated in various residence programs including in UK and USA. His practice focuses upon painting and sculpture, which is highly acclaimed internationally.

The work of Chintan Upadhyay employs bold visual images such as tree painted with vivid blue or installation with large infants heads which provide an impact not to be forgotten easily. His work sharply deals with the complex condition of India in the throes of rapid economic and urban development, as well as high discrimination between the sexes, a country filled with contradiction and chaos.
In this work can be found the juxtaposition of nature and the man-made, harmony and conflict, public and private, pertinently commenting upon the current tremors running through Indian society.

Through painting and sculpture Upadhyay’s work touches upon the social political, further investigated though the facilitation of an annual residence program. Situated in a small village in Partapur, Rajasthan “Sandarbh Project” is an ongoing experiment in forming a dialogue between the city and the rural village. Here artists are invited from all over the world, and in exploring what they feel necessary to do at this time in this place they build up their own projects.

In this project artists collaborate with local villages with the assistance of project staff, with each individual being upon the same level, all sharing their ideas, all being able to put together a plan and being given a space to realize this.

How much interest do we have in the ideas and opinions of others? According to Upadhyay it is this interest which must be held as the first step towards creating an open relationship towards the other and society. In Sandarbh Project the obstructions between various positions are overcome through carrying out everyday life in the village community and deepening person to person relations, which contribute to raising the autonomy and motivation of the local community.

While drawing in the surrounding people this project undertakes to integrate art and everyday life. Upadhyay’s motivation towards his work is the genuine urge to engage with people, and to learn more about the environment which surrounds him. As an individual taking this simple idea and developing it into an art project, this presents many possibilities for how artists and art may be able to open to society.

A Picnic – visiting to spots along a polluted river with children from a local slum and creating pictures from their experiences

(A project asking local people to share their plants as part of Abiko International Open Air Exhibition 2008.)