Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra work collaboratively in a wide variety of media including painting, sculpture, Installation, film and design. Thukral & Tagra blur the lines between Fine Art and Popular Culture, product placement and exhibition design, artistic inspiration and media hype. Their works comment on the globalization of consumer culture and the repercussions of this as it is being experienced in India today. While both playful and humorous, their works express thoughtful questions about the nature of Indian identity as it is articulated by Indians themselves and projected on to India by the rest of the world.
Here is a sneak peak into Thukral & Tagra’s artistic home in Gurgaon. See Inside Pictures:
Jiten Thukral (left) and Sumir Tagra in the main hall of their double-height Gurgaon studio, surrounded by works in progress, including a maquette of their Absolut vodka bottle. They occupy three apartments in a gated compound; and, a short distance away, a largely self-designed studio on a 5,400-square-foot plot, with double- height ceilings of exposed concrete overlooking a sloping lawn.
Tagra’s living room is lined with customized sofas upholstered in leather; he had the houndstooth- patterned cushion covers specially printed; the nested coffee tables are from BoConcept; the second-hand armchairs were given a makeover in black lacquer.
They call one of the apartments—an interactive lab-plus- office—their “think space”. It is here that the works are digitally conceived from a vast database of images—sketches, photographs, objets trouvés—which are then carefully sifted and layered to create preparatory drafts, often in 3-D renderings.
Most walls in Thukral and Tagra’s interiors are painted a uniform slate grey, with the floors lined in laminate boards. The main room of the think space is a showcase for their works, including the porcelain sculptures made for Meissen, a German porcelain brand. The pale grey sofa is from Iqrup+Ritz; the Charles Eames chair was ordered online. The coffee table is a packing crate topped with beige stained glass.
The liberal use of mottled Mahabalipuram granite in the interior flooring and for the meeting table was entirely fortuitous: they happened to buy a truckload of plain and shaped blocks cheaply after its use at an exhibition.
The sectioned work tables in this room were customized to suit the artists’ needs. The cartouche-shaped window near the clock was created to capture the colourful canvas in the next room.
When Thukral and Tagra first acquired the apartments as work and living quarters, they were rather characterless cookie-cutter spaces, and the duo set about customizing them swiftly but inexpensively. In the bedroom, the chest of drawers was a flea-market find, given a cheerful lick of paint, and the rocking chair is by acclaimed designer Patricia Urquiola for Kartell.