Fri, 9 June, 6-8pm
- When 9 Jun - 9 Jul 2017
25 Edinburgh Ave, Canberra ACT 2601
+61 2 6287 6287
Porosity Kabari is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, collaborative project bringing together Indian and Australian creative practitioners.
Taking place in the heart of mega city Mumbai over three weeks this project connects Indian graphic designer and company director, Ishan Khosla with Australian object designer and UNSW Art & Design graduate, Trent Jansen; Australian architect, artist, along with UNSW Art & Design Professor, Richard Goodwin. The creative outcomes of this workshop were presented in the international touring exhibition, Porosity Kabari.
Collectively, Jansen, Goodwin, and Khosla examined social, cultural, and economic issues related to Mumbai’s markets, the scale and demands of the city itself, and the effects of mass production and consumption.
The project challenged the three creative collaborators to work in Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar, also known as the Thieves Market, using the bazaar as their only source of materials and and the vendors and crafts-people at the market as their only source of making-process-assistance.
Found throughout India, Kabari Bazaars (known as Junk Markets) and Chor Bazaars are the neighborhoods where many of India's useful things end up at the end of their long lives. It is in these bazaars that many objects are given a second life – car panels are transformed into ad-hock cookers and old clothing is quilted into rugs.
According to Khosla, the creative trio began their project with the most basic definition of sustainable design; that being the ability to transform something into something else. This he says is particularly important in India, “a society without the common social safeguards of developed nations, one where the survival of each individual is determined by their unique ability to be creative and resourceful. While the rest of the world struggles with the environmental implications of designed obsolescence and disposable consumption, India is a place where resourcefulness is part of the everyday.”
A core principal of many Mumbai bazaars is the ad-libbed nature of making; where time spent agonising over a design decision is income lost. The short period of time allocated to the designers and the ad-hock making methods adopted by bazaar workers meant that design decisions were made quickly, as the maker with whom they worked gave shape to those decisions with an immediacy that is seldom experienced in the Australian context.
The complete novelty of these work practices, combined with the eclectic material palette found in the Chor Bazaar, forced the designers to adopt an entirely new method of designing, thus changing their practices and providing the potential for a series of outcomes unique within their portfolios.
The sculptural objects created in Mumbai's Chor Bazaar form the Porosity Kabari exhibition now on display at Canberra’s Nishi Gallery.