Kochi Biennale Foundation is deeply saddened to hear that contemporary artist, our friend and peer, Tushar Joag has passed away.

Tushar was born in Mumbai in 1966. He graduated in Sculpture from Sir J. J. School of Arts in 1988, which was followed by a Masters in Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MSU Baroda (1988-1990), a Fellowship at the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad, and an artist-residency at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam (1998-2000). Joag was one of the co-founders of the Bombay-based artist- collective, Open Circle that sought to engage with contemporary socio-political issues via an integration of theory and practice. He has convened/curated international events, screenings and exhibitions individually and in collaboration. He has also participated in many prominent national as well as international shows. He was founding faculty and Associate Professor, Department of Art Design and Performing Arts, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar University. He had brought students from the Shiv Nadar University to the Students’Biennale at Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2016.

Tushar Joag described himself as a public intervention artist. He founded PWC (Public Work Cells), an organization that aims “to create works of art that seek to make interventions in the urban space, by designing and producing objects that while being functional and aesthetic bring into focus the various concerns of the immediate situation.”

A conscientious artist deeply aware the problems and tensions of contemporary urban life, Joag spent his time doing things like developing a special vending cart for hawkers that folds up into a ‘Shanghai Couch’, on the approach of prowling BMC officials. All his works carry a strong social message and address issues prevalent in our society including the corruption of the judiciary, political hierarchy and disparity of wealth. Joag’s drawings are meticulous, but do not appear to be confined; some images appear in momentum, others seem to entirely break away from the limitations of the canvas.

18 December, 2018