Installation view with (left to right): Maximum capacity 3, 2019, steel and reclaimed wood, 94 x 68 x 22 cm.; and Maximum capacity 2, 2019, steel and reclaimed wood, 54 x 56 x 20 cm. Photo: Shovan Gandhi

Engaging the Informal City: A Conversation with Martand Khosla

Martand Khosla’s sculptures capture the evolutionary forces at work in the modern city, with its constant churning, its shifting appearance and demographics, and the dynamics of the divide between rich and poor. A practicing architect as well as an artist, Khosla draws inspiration from his experience of building in India, where every inch of space is contested, where sleek new constructions rise in stark contrast to surrounding slums, where the shanty dwellings of migrant construction laborers offer no more than minimum shelter. Architectural rigor and precision define his forms, yet his sculptures are not idealized and not devoid of feeling. The realities and the intangibles of urban life come through with quiet dignity, embedded into the works’ recycled building materials and brick dust.

Chitra Balasubramaniam: You started your practice as an architect in 2000 and began experimenting with installations in 2010. What prompted the new avenue of expression?
Martand Khosla:
In my early years of practice as an architect, I was very keen to design and build for the less privileged in our society, something that I continue to do in my current architectural work . . .

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