Amol K. Patil: Lines Between the City: Hanfang Wang

21 October 2023 - 27 January 2024 TKG+ Projects


21 OCTOBER 2023 - 27 JANUARY 2024



21 OCTOBER (SAT.) 4:30 P.M.



TKG+ Projects 2F, No. 15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei 11492, Taiwan



Amol K. Patil



 Han-Fang Wang



Over the past five decades, Mumbai has been part of a rapid urbanization, with a significant influx of immigrants, urban zoning, towering skyscrapers, and frequent trade activities. The city is growing, expanding, bustling with energy. A fast-growing modern city striving for success usually pursues efficiency, and gravitates toward homogenization. Such a process often leads to the silent marginalization of certain groups, which can be understood as marginalized spaces, populations, or lifestyles within the city. It may also raise issues concerning the management and allocation of public resources. From a broader perspective, it involves the implications of urban sprawl, as well as the relationship between the city and natural environment. These invisible margins with fluid borders evolve in an organic way, serving different purposes, morphing in different patterns, at different speeds, leaving behind myriad intangible lines across the city. It seems these lines function both as partitions and as bedrocks, shaping the face of the city and the lifestyles of its inhabitants. Lines Between the City, Amol K. Patil’s debut at TKG+ Projects, revolves around the everyday life of these fringe communities. Using a demolished wall from a gentrified chawl, the exhibition charts a daily route which the dwellers travel to navigate the city, where issues of caste, class, and labor conditions lurking along unseen barriers confront the marginalized, voiceless groups.


Why do we turn our gaze toward the everyday in this particular exhibition? To quote French sociologist Henri Lefebvre, who wrote in The Critique of Everyday Life (1961), “The human world is not defined simply by the historical, by culture, by totality or society as a whole, or by ideological and political superstructures. It is defined by this intermediate and mediating level: everyday life.” Human social activities are based on everyday life, driven by corporeal needs and desires, influenced at the same time by tradition, politics, family, religion, traffic, environment, and self-actualization. People experience happiness, contentment, or frustration in their daily lives. They also develop local, repetitive, but culturally significant everyday practices, or engage in creative and change-driven forms of counter-production. These work or non-work behaviors create a cycle that constitutes the everyday, expanding into a microcosm of the overall social production system.


The works on view in Patil’s solo exhibition delve not into a grand subject but into an entirely ordinary body. His portrayal of the body creates a dialogue between the corporeal form, living space, and the walls. As the relationship between the body and space shifts, as the body is transformed and reconstructed, this dialogue unfolds sometimes as a pas de deux, at times as a dizzying straight punch. Other times, the body becomes part of the space; still other times, the walls fuse with the skin of the body in a synchronized breath. These abstract, continuous interactions portray the intricate relationship between reality and the human condition. Patil is concerned with humanity’s space in the social environment, as well as the opposition and symbiosis between the body and the surroundings. For him, the marginalized live in a state of oppression, where life is merely a product of the state. Attempts must be made to restore equality and abundance of everyday life; to reclaim autonomy over one’s labor and time; to defy the commodification, commercialization, and pigeonholing of one’s existence; to produce a form of everyday life that belongs ultimately to humanity.


A mercurial city of tens of millions serves as a hub where the citizens, interlinked with each other, spontaneously congregate and disperse. Lines Between the City examines the depths of the everyday, as well as the body as a conduit for connection, along with its impalpable borders. Even the smallest community can create a space of fluidity, allowing for constant change.


Curator Han-Fang Wang



About the Artist|


Amol K. Patil


Born in 1987 in Mumbai, India
Now lives and works in Mumbai and Amsterdam


To Amol K. Patil, a conceptual and performance artist based in Mumbai, his artwork is an ongoing excavation and investigation to recapture the pulsating, vibrating movements, and sound of the ‘chawl’ architecture and habitus. Patil grew up in an area of ‘chawls’, a built form specific to Bombay/Mumbai, 5-storey social housing for mill and factory workers that were built in the early 1900s, with many tenements fit close together, long verandahs connecting every door, with children running on floorboards above, the swirls of gossiping voices from dimly lit tables under which men gather to play carrom, the woman with a walking stick, the sound of termites eating into wood, wedding festivities, and rhythmically creaking beds.


Patil was born in Mumbai. After his education in visual arts, he initiated and was part of many practices with collective formations. It is in this dynamic ambience that he became interested in the crossover of performance art, kinetic installation, and video installation. He was intellectually drawn to the shaping of social systems and taxonomies of memory. From his family archive, Patil stages live settings, such as where a tape runs a conversation between a machine, a siren, and a mosquito, where the sound of the machine and the siren are recordings made by his father, an inheritance from someone long gone. The mosquito is of his time. Such settings of imaginary conversations of energies engage and transform not just each other, but all that comes in contact with them.


After discovering his affinity for performance art, he grappled to understand his father’s work as a theater activist. He encountered objects in old cupboards in his home: an old Dictaphone tape recorder, a walkman, and cassettes filled with sounds and immigrant dialects that his father recorded for his typed, grassroots, avant-garde theater scripts about the dilemma of living as a migrant in the city, and which he performed within the industrial mill areas of Bombay. He found, as well, handwritten songs of his poet grandfather. The songs come from a protest tradition since the 17th century called ‘Powada’, much in use before and after national independence, still found today, which are not so much to sing, but a rap form spitting out furious words against the caste system, and the revolutionary words of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the Dalit thinker who gave India roads out of caste and towards social equality and, as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution of the Republic of India, inscribed equality, liberty, and justice for all its citizens.


In his recent work, Patil is expanding his research on the construct of urbanization and invisibility of the working class in emergent urban imaginaries. His project is to build counter-memory and contesting narratives that describe and disturb the relationship between humans and landscapes.


Amol K. Patil has shown at Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels, Belgium (2023); TaxisPalais Kunsthalle Tiro, Innsbruck, Austria (2023); Project 88, Mumbai, India (2023); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India (2022–2023); Documenta Fifteen, Kassel, Germany (2022); Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan (2020); Goethe- Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Mumbai, India (2019); Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, India (2019); The Showroom, London, U.K. (2018); Tensta konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2017); Pune Biennale: Habit-co-Habit, Pune, India (2017); New Galerie, Paris, France (2016); Dakar Biennale, Dakar, Senegal (2016); Myymälä2, Helsinki, Finland (2015); Japan Foundation, Delhi, India (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2015); International Artists Initiated, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K. (2014); Para Site, Hong Kong (2014); Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France (2013).



About the Curator|


Han-Fang Wang


Han-Fang Wang is an independent curator and art writer. She currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. Intrigued by the facade of contemporary life, Wang ponders the changing states of human experience, and conducts relevant research that navigates the direction in which humanity moves. She is profoundly concerned about the ways technology, civilization, and knowledge redefine humanity and its relationship with the world. At the same time, she contemplates how technology, as a form of social infrastructure, plays a role in the individual’s perceptual experience, the construction of their subjectivity, as well as life as a collective and as a society in the future.


In 2019, she received a grant as a resident curatorial fellow for the Taiwan Pavilion at Performa 19 in New York. In 2020, she took part in the curatorial team of Taipei Biennial – You and I live on the different planets public programs. Her recent curatorial projects include: Making Worlds: An Imagineering Project, MoCA Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan (2022); Still Life Sonata: Wang Yahui Solo Exhibition, Taitung Art Museum, Taitung, Taiwan (2021); Mercurial Boundaries: Imagining Future Memory, Museum of National Taipei University of Education, Taipei, Taiwan (2019); the 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition: Offline Browser (curated by Hsu Chia-Wei and Hsu Fong-Ray), assistant curator, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2018); and the Floating System for Snails: Project Invasion in Documenta Fifteen (in collaboration with En-Man Chang and Ting Tsou, Kassel, Germany, 2022).