Based in New Delhi, artists Thukral and Tagra who work collaboratively under the alias Thukral & Tagra (T&T), bring a fresh wave of visual experimentation by fusing Indian, Japanese and Western pop icons into cheeky visual puns targeted at overblown contemporary lifestyles.
Cult design Wallpaper magazine named T&T among the top 101 emerging designers of the world, GQ magazine hailed them as style icons, who created an exclusive line of bags and clothing for Puma, Benetton and designed Pepsi cans.
T&T’s art has found favour with celebrity collectors; Elton John trekked all the way to Sydney to purchase a steel dome painted with nostalgic childhood references and hedge fund billionaire and collector extraordinaire, Frank Cohen bought mock-trophy busts of Punjabi lads adorned in popular, foreign labels.
At Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), T&T concocted an irresistible assortment of works on paper for the exhibition “Low-Tech Family Vacations”, featuring a seductive mix of beautifully composed graphics that animate with specially designed digital components.
“This collaboration marks a milestone in STPI’s papermaking history, this fascinating dichotomy of hand made paper and technology paths new artistic trajectories for the artists and STPI,” said Emi Eu, Director of STPI.
T&T’s frequently used typographic element, “Bosedk‟, a Punjabi language expletive, pops all over the artworks like flowery slogans, “Children eat free”, “Open 24hrs”, “Beautiful Bosedk”, “Family weekends”, offer tongue-in-cheek critique of banal consumption ostensibly served up for viewers delectation. Thukral and Tagra added, “We live in time of “McDonaldisation‟ and we are responsible for our children’s future that is explicitly “Disneyfied‟. In most cases we act like we are motorised and novice, repeating the same actions everyday.”
T&T started their careers as graphic and product designers, their practice a reflection of the dynamism and ambition of India’s rapidly growing economy. “We are influenced by the global nature of aesthetics and its prevalent existence, thus we portray our fascinations through a distinctly Indian lens which results in a beautiful clash of sorts,” said the dynamic duo.
After STPI, T&T’s global domination continues with solo exhibitions at Ullens Centre of Contemporary Art in Beijing, a solo project at Arario Gallery in Seoul and group shows at Stockholm Samdigidt Museum and Turin this year, followed by a group show at Art Stage Singapore in 2011.