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11 Dec 2023, Edition - 3072, Monday

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Finding expression in creating and then, dismantling

Jiji Ann Cherian


Kochi: They are whacky, make you sit back and contemplate, and at times urge you to get under the skin of the artist and explore his or her creative sensibilities. The installations exhibited at the Kochi Muziris Biennale 2016 are a rare treat to art lovers and one that stands out for its intricate detailing is Hyderabad-based artist Dia Mehta Bhupal’s lifesize installation, The Public Toilet, made out of rolls and rolls of recycled paper.

“Sometimes, it takes me years to complete one model. I start by rolling pieces of old magazine paper, which I use to create my sets,” says Dia. “After assembling a whole set, I take photographs of it and then dismantle the whole thing,” says the spunky artist. “Only my close group of friends and family have seen the real sets till date.”

Though she feels this seems to be not normal for those who perceive her art. “Creating and dismantling is how I find expression in art,” says Dia, whose earlier work consisted of a bookstore installation, where she ‘created’ 2,888 books.

When not dabbling in art, Dia loves exploring life through the photographer’s lens. Some of her photographs from the series Mind The Gap are also at the Biennale.

“Life, for me, is all about exploring. When I am not making art, I am taking photographs,” she says.

Her turning point as a photographer came during her student days at Parson’s School of Design, New York. “I was a student there when people were still dabbling with both film and digital photography, so I got to learn both. I can develop a picture in a dark room if I wanted to,” says the stunning artist.

Dia’s love for photography has taken her far and wide. “I have been very lucky to have travelled extensively. One of my favourite shoots was at the Kumbh Mela. I love shooting in the Himalayas too.”

Dia has participated in various exhibitions across the globe, including at China’s Guangzhou International Art Fair and the Dubai Art Fair.

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