Root: An enquiry in to our own self identity

2019, Curator: Suresh K. Nair

Concept Note

Let me begin with a small anecdote: “can you bring our village to Varanasi?”
my father asked me while in Varanasi, recently. He was visiting me from Kerala
and was worried of the isolation, which he was experiencing psychologically.
Time and again he was feeling the loneliness to connect back to his roots,
desperate and concerned.

This incident had a strong impact on my mind and thus I started to think of the
Roots: how significant and essential it is to connect; with the self and others,
with the ecology and nature, with every living being on this planet and so
forth. Each one of us have ever thought about our own roots, both in terms of
physical and psychological. We have our own vernacular language, history,
tradition, food habit, belief, customs and rituals etc., that has continually
nurtured our persona, thought process and behavior and thus, our physical
displacements are overpowered by the or roots. We carry our own stories and
experiences from the root, wherever we go.

In a simpler way root is understood by the roots of trees, plants and that is the
source of acquiring water and minerals from soil. Thus, the metaphor of root
has been chosen for the project, which not only engages in connecting to its
soil but also becomes the one to choose the right mineral for its growth and so
is water. It’s a recent phenomenon that one comes across, has thrown open a
challenge to the humanity in for of shortage of usable water. The global
concern has been taken up by the experts to create awareness to save water
and use it wisely in various walks of life as much needed, storing the rest of it
for future use. People in rural and remote areas has been facing this on a daily
basis. Kustia village, which has not been much impacted by technology, and as
much I have travelled and spent time there as an artist, has enough
components to provide in order to take this project forward. Emphasis on the
roots, right from the religious texts to present practices, has been underlined

Thus, in this edition, Roots and water (with specific significance) will drive the
minds of the artists to respond and create their works, as a part of direct
experience and/or probable opportunity, that Kustia village can offer, bringing
in the diverse thinking minds from all over the world and posing an inquiry into
their own identity.

Suresh K Nair

November 1, 2019
Varanasi, India

Participating Artists

Reiko Shimizu

A visual artist who has been approaching and pursuing the universal theme of human existence and the every lived experience, an essence of life. H… see full profile

Delwar Hossain

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Shawon Akand

𝐒𝐡𝐚𝐰𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐤𝐚𝐧𝐝 (Bangladesh, 1976), is an artist, writer and curator based in Dhaka. Trained at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, Akand cur… see full profile


Nahad Ul Quasem

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Shovon Zabir

Visual artist, Poet and c core member of CRACK team. I started my Journey with crack about a Decade ago. Apart from crack I am involved in various… see full profile

Suresh K. Nair


Suresh K. Nair (born 1971 in Adakkaputhur, Kerala, In… see full profile

Polash Chowdhury

Founding member and trustee of crack trust

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