Shraddha Borawake

Multidisciplinary Artist, India

01.08.2019   - 31.10.2019

Shraddha Borawake (1983) is a transdisciplinary artist from Pune, India. In her multifaceted work, she explores the relations and entanglements between objects, people and histories.

Borawake’s work encompasses experiential research, cross-cultural pollinations, tentacular facilitation, immersive audio-visual art installations photography, community engagement, and co-creation. Her fluid, collaborative practice has engaged many public spaces, private institutions and cultural bodies across the globe.

Thematically, she approaches the complexity of relations within science, spirituality, as well as history. Repurposing found objects and materials in her installations, she creates symbolic assemblages, “ritual landscapes” as she puts it, that take into account what has been lost or remade in a contemporary, postcolonial era.

In Borawake’s work, spiritual and academic considerations converge with the legacy of the German Fluxus movement, queer-, community- and global politics, as well as feminist theory. One member of the Fluxus movement who significantly influenced Borawake is the Dutch artist and writer Louwrien Wijers. Challenging the boundaries between science, art and spirituality in a visionary way, Wijers enabled and documented interdisciplinary conversations between such diverse personalities as Joseph Beuys, the Dalai Lama, Marina Abramovich, John Cage and David Brohm.

Borawake is currently incorporating Wijers’ films in an experimental, multi-media project titled Chaat meets Science and Spirituality in a Growing Economy that also involves the facilitation of a collaborative social game featuring objects, food, discussion and negotiation. The project was presented during her Garb-Age solo exhibition at SomoS.

A table full of prisms and other shiny things.

In her installations, Borawake collects and recontextualizes natural and man-made materials, amalgamating objects to create multi-layered, shrine-like installations. Leftover materials and experiments with texture are collected for inclusion in future installations, creating an ongoing process of material metamorphosis.

With a cultural insight lending itself to a consideration of female Indian identity in a globalized world, Borawake’s use of layered, discarded images reflects her own exploration of narrative and tradition. These elements come together through complex creative and personal introspection and the use of contemporary artistic processes. The social aspects of recycling, upcycling and fragmenting are also elements that she explores through collecting materials and imbuing such objects with meaning.

Shraddha Borawake – Garb-Age

For the duration of her 3-month Artist Residency at SomoS, Borawake continued her ongoing art project “Garb-Age.” Originally conceptualized whilst in the Netherlands in 2016, “Garb-Age” represents a collection of material found throughout the artist’s global, cross-cultural travels. “Garb” refers to the external coverings of things in the world of certain kinds of material, and “age” denotes the time in which the artist, and the wider global population, are collectively living. Seeking a non-institutional space for the further extension of this project, SomoS’ values of creative cooperation appealed to Borawake as she was specifically seeking “a multi-generational and multi-cultural environment to develop and share her expression.”

As the artist states,

My work approaches evolving relationships, involving multiple subjects, musings, academic discourse and interaction with community in cultural productions, and as dialogical works using lens-based media.
In the past, I have incorporated mediums such as dance-theatre, video, fashion, independent design, ceramics and elements of food into my artistic inquiry to dissect the “2D gridlock” of pure photography. Whether alone or in collaborative spaces, a consistent focus on these dissections is the underlying theme across all my projects.

Shraddha Borawake,Artist’s Statement

Shraddha Borawake holds a diploma from the International Center of Photography New York (‘05), a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University (’12) and a Master of Fine Art from the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem De Kooning Academy, The Netherlands (’18).

Borawake’s work has featured in group shows such as Woven Together, Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur 2018, Fake Truth, Rotterdam Photography Festival, NL 2018, This is Allure, Wolfart Project Space, NL 2017 and Junoon, Mona Lisa Gallery, IN 2017. In 2016, her work featured in the duo-exhibition Windows in collaboration with Ruy Jhunjhunwala at Garden Enclave, Pune IN.

Her collaborative projects have been conducted in cooperation with partners such as PGTI (Policy Group on Tradeswomen Issues), New York City District of Councillors -Carpenter’s Union – Women’s Division, Gleason’s Gym – Brooklyn, World Boxing Council, DUMBO Arts Festival, Kinematik Dance Theatre Company, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator and Miami Dade County (USA), Raglan Arts Center New Zealand, Ruby Hall Group of Hospitals, Kirloskar Vasundhara Arts Festival, Bharat Forge, Force Motors, Nanded City, TIFA- Working Studios (Pune, IN), Kaavadi Productions Pondicherry, India Habitat Center – Visual Arts Gallery (New Delhi, IN), Witte De With Center for Contemporary Art, Erasmus University – Cultural Economics Department , Class (Rotterdam, NL) and Xeno Entities Collective (Berlin).

Awards and Scholarships to the artist have included the Holland Scholarship, 2016; nomination for the Netherlands Fellowship Program, 2016; the Habitat Photosphere Award, New Delhi, India, the Leo Bronstein Homage Award, New York University, New York; and Johnson & Johnson ICP Fellowship Program, New York. She is currently an Actant/Awardee for Five Million Incidents, an Occupation of Time by the Goethe Institut/Max Muller, Bhavan New Delhi in collaboration with RAQS Media Collective.

Borawake’s SomoS Artist Residency follows previous residencies at Shifting Studios, TIFA, India in 2019, Bamboo Curtain Residency, Funded by the Ministry of Culture Taiwan, Taiwan, 2017, the Refracting Rooms KHOJ International Artists’ Workshop, Pune, India 2015, and Eddie Adams Workshop, USA 2009.

Her work has been featured in many publications since 2001, such as Vogue, Elle, Nat Geo Traveller, The Hindu, Indian Express, Sakal Times, and Visual Arts Journal, to name a few.

The artist has received press coverage from Photosphere – Take On Art Magazine (Review), Art with Green Consciousness – The Asian Age (review), Lenscape Diaries – Pune Mirror, One version of our civilisation is known by the trash it leaves behind, India Times (feature), Beauty of a Heritage Blanket – The Hindu (feature).

Shraddha Borawake’s Artist Residency and research are supported by the Five Million Incidents grant of the Goethe Institute/Max Muller Bhavan New Delhi.

Goethe Institut Bhavan New Delhi