Vishal K Dar (b. 1976) is a Delhi based, US educated artist. Dar uses satire and scale to address deeper personal issues, and his practice often extends outside the gallery and into the public realm. Dar’s art practice is diverse in terms of medium, where transformations and the nocturne are some of the more visible themes seen in his works. Through mythmaking, Dar instills a sense of dreamlike quality in his works while still allowing them to address contemporary issues. In 2009, Dar started a series of mysterious glowing insect sculptures made from stolen car lights, sourced from the Old Delhi grey markets. These are uncanny totemic creatures that could be conceptually connected the ‘post-human’ theory. Light continues as a recurring motif and was powerfully harnessed in his ambitious 2013 public project ‘Prajapati’ which refers to Louis Khan’s texts on silence and light as
well as Hindu mythology. In 2012, he produced ‘NAAG’, a site-specific sculpture which came to life through cutting-edge projection mapping technology, aspiring to deconstruct the notion of sculpture.
Collaboration is key to Dar’s work, be it with intellectuals, technologists, programmers or other artists. In his 2010 solo show titled BROWNation – Dar reconfigured symbols of India from
currency notes, Gandhi, and even the national flag to question the political idea of nationhood in India and the growing commodity culture by using ‘traditional bazaar’ idioms. In 2012, the artist
expanded upon this idea of the BROWNation in his inaugural exhibition at Chemould Prescott Road, ‘The Rise of the BROWNationals,’ which was in collaboration with historian Kaushik Bhaumik and media arts practitioner Siddhartha Chatterjee. This exhibition focused on a specific geographic area– the Golden Triangle created by India Gate, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the Parliament House- the symbolic heart of power and nationhood in India.