about ajaykumar


Ajaykumar is an artist, an academic at Goldsmiths University of London; is co-director of the shapes-design studio: collaborating with an architect and product designer to engender playful furniture, lighting, and gardens, and items that come into 'being' through the play of others; a curator; and a member of Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN): a research centre of the University of the Arts, London. He is an Artsadmin bursary artist.

Ajaykumar’s art concerns not the art object primarily but the potential for creation of what might be described as a 'sublime' world that manifests in an ephemeral space between an art object and a spectator's experiencing of it; where art works come into being through the 'play' of others.

His art concerns how we inter-act socially, with the world around us. He creates little worlds - special spaces or places - to contact our playful nature, our imagination, and our feelings about the significance and the sacredness of our lives and our relationships. These relationships are as much to do with our relationship with others, as they are with objects, and with ourselves.

Ajaykumar’s work relates to perceptions of Nature: about how we may connect with and re-think notions of Nature; about examining notions of daily life as art; and discussing particular ecological dynamics of the human being in relation to environment.

Ultimately his art and research focuses on ‘being’: interrogating notions of ‘relational being’, ‘the being of a space’, 'the space of being', and ‘non-anthropocentric being’. It is concerned with engendering new epistemologies in ontological art practice: through reappraising Buddhist, Tantric, and Animistic processes; through investigating the contemporary pertinence of a hypothesis of 'dependent origination' beyond its original Buddhist cultural and religious significance, particularly with regard spectatorship, ludic, performative, and pedagogic processes.

This research – interrogating a range of technological practice: from historical Ellora architecture (India) to contemporary digital art - concerns the nature and dynamics of interface.

His practice is trans-disciplinary, intermedia, and single form: spanning the disciplines/forms of: internet art; video; combined media installation; film; site-specific, land, and environmental art; performance/live art; design; architecture; sound; dance; theatre; creative writing.

While the range of forms is wide, ultimately it is in the inter-disciplinarity, the relationality, the inter-connectivity, and the trans-nationalism of his enquiries that Ajaykumar is engaging with developing new epistemologies regarding ‘being’ through practical research and theoretical enquiry. Some of his works – such as his concrete essays series for Leonardo etc., and radio play - interrogate distinctions made between practice and theory, where practice could be perceived as theory and theory as practice.

current other projects include:

  • a_m_m_s (akasha_ma_mu_sunyata)
  • collaboration with Brussels-based media artist Alok b. Nandi for a series of installations and interventions that reconceive Sanskrit and Japanese concepts.
    next intervention: ISEA2008, Singapore
    prospective next installation: to be created with CCS at the Powerhouse Museum, beta_space, Sydney Australia, Sept. 2009.

  • a landscape design and garden
  • for the Peabody Trust, London, UK, being developed in collaboration with Farrer Huxley Associates.

  • laal shaari
  • dance-theatre collaboration with Amina Khayyam for the Royal Opera House, London, November 2007 and other venues.

  • radio play
  • sound installation in diverse formats and several versions, presented internationally, including:
    The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia, Sept-Oct. 2007.
    The Study Gallery,of Modern Art, Poole,  Jul.-Oct. 2007.

  • zen gardens without the 'zen'
  • ongoing series of interative, immersive installations, and gardens as art works, that come into being through the presence and engagement of spectators: presented in UK, India, USA

  • a way of tea
  • multiple media installation engaging with the dynamics of the Japanese art practice, commonly known in the English as the tea ceremony and in Japan as cha no yu, or sado: the way of tea.
    Prospective first presentation: The Study Gallery of Modern Art, Poole, UK,  2009.

  • spaces
  • series of films and installations: that deal with phenomenological negotiation of and immersion in architectural spaces: subjects include: Tate Modern, Tadao Ando’ s Water Temple, Japan; gardens designed by Isamu Noguchi; the rock cut edifices of Ellora, India.

  • tate modern
  • tate modern specifically concerns the potential of application of Tantric processes such as that found at Ellora, as well as the intellectual approach of Tadao Ando, to a site of contemporary European architecture. Thematically and formally, the work engages with: the Buddhist notion of dependent origination (Sanskrit: pratiyasamutpada); phenomenological kinaesthetic processes involved in defining of architecture; a notion of architecture as defined by Ando as architecture as not built edifice only, but as the interrelation of built edifice, the person who frequents it and a wider landscape; Ando’s interpretation of the Japanese term shintai, commonly understood as body, as body existing in relation to space.