Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art & The Japan Foundation, New Delhi invite you to

In conversation: Sohei Iwata and Asim Waqif

Friday, 25 November 2011 | 6 – 7:30pm
FICA Reading Room | D42, Defence Colony, New Delhi 110020  

Sohei Iwata and Asim Waqif will be their presenting their recent works, and engaging each other in a conversation around their experiences of working with different communities and their modes of artistic interventions when dealing with questions of ecology and traditional practices.
Iwata will be discussing his project ‘8 Japanese Artists: Mutual Sympathy in the Orient’, a three-week residency and exhibition in Santiniketan and Delhi organised collaboratively with The Japan Foundation. The workshop primarily explored the role of art and environment and engaged with the people from villages around Santiniketan. Waqif will be presenting one of his projects titled ‘Badri Jal Abhiyan’ which he undertook in collaboration with Vaibhav Dimri in Badrinath. This project which was part of ‘Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways II’supported by Khoj International Artists Association, investigated the relationship between tradition and ecology, specifically around the role of water.
Sohei Iwata completed his BFA and MFA, specializing in Inter-media Arts, from Tokyo University of Arts, Japan. He art practice has been mostly open-field art activities exploring architecture, ecology, communities and local knowledge systems.  Between 2003 and 2007 he organized the art project SICE (Sarajevo International Culture Exchange) in Sarajevo, Tokyo and Bosnia & Herzegovina which was one of the biggest international art events in Sarajevo post the Balkan War. In 2008, he was selected as the artist representative by the Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan and started a new art project titled ‘Apam Napat' in Santiniketan, India. The purpose of 'Apam Napat' was to develop ecological housing for the local ethnic communities living that that area, and explore sustainable water filtration systems for the village. Since then he has been living and discussing his ideas with the people there and developing public facilities for the villages through these interactive means. Iwata is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Visva Bharti University in Santiniketan.
Delhi-based Asim Waqif studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, where he currently teaches as Visiting Faculty. After initially working as an art-director for film and television he later started making independent video and documentaries before moving into a dedicated art-practice.His recent projects have attempted a crossover between architecture, art and design, with a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban-design and the politics of occupying/intervening/using public spaces. Concerns of ecology and anthropology often weave through his work and he has done extensive research on vernacular systems of ecological management, especially with respect to water, waste and architecture.  His artworks often employ manual processes that are deliberately pain-staking and laborious while the products themselves are often temporary. He has worked in sculpture, site-specific public installation, video, photography, and more recently with large-scale interactive installations that combine traditional and new media technologies.
Image courtesy: Sohei Iwata