press release

N S Harsha. Gathering Delights
28.07.2019 - 03.11.2019

Opening reception: 27.07.2019 16:00 - 19:00

Following its successful grand opening in March 2019, CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) is proud to announce the next series of exciting events—its 2019 Summer Programme.

This summer, CHAT will present Gathering Delights, the largest-ever solo exhibition of Indian artist N S Harsha in Hong Kong. Curated by CHAT’s Co-Director Takahashi Mizuki, Gathering Delights will feature over 30 works by N S Harsha that span more than 20 years of his career. Running from July 28 to November 3, 2019, the exhibition will present his expansive artistic practice of paintings, sculptures, participatory work as well as community programmes in collaboration with one of India’s first organic farmers from Krac-A-Dawna Organic Farm—a collaboration which stemmed from a concern for sustainability shared by Harsha and CHAT’s own community programme curator, Him Lo. These participatory programmes will offer a fresh cognitive lens through which the artist explores how nature stimulates creative thinking and artistic forms.

One of India’s leading artists of his generation, N S Harsha is continuously inspired by the traditional beauty and cultural dynamism of his home city Mysuru (formerly named Mysore) in southern India—known as the royal capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from the 16th century until the Indian independence of 1947. Harsha often deploys textiles and sewing machines in his works as materials as well as key motifs, depicting personal memories and collective gestures that weave human acts with the state of the world and the universe.

Drawing from a broad spectrum of Indian painting traditions and popular arts, as well as the Western canon, Harsha creates quietly philosophical and luminous works that reflect on geopolitical order and our increasingly technologically-mediated relationship with the world. In the monumental installation Nations (2007-2019), pieces of cloth adorned with the flags of the United Nations’ member states are draped onto 193 foot-operated sewing machines, denoting industrialisation and labour as a key driver for developing nations.

As CHAT is an art centre housed in former cotton-spinning mills, the exploration of contemporary situations and agendas in the textile industry is undeniably one of its focuses. Cotton farming is sometime considered a controversial industry because of its impact on the environment in its demand for large quantities of water and chemicals for pesticides. Through conducting community projects with Harsha and Krac-A-Dawna Organic Farm, we hope our visitors will learn how nature gives inspiration to the artist, as well as the problems in cotton farming and the meaning of self-sustainability in today’s context.

With the exhibition title of Gathering Delights, Harsha connects CHAT’s institutional philosophy with his artworks through which the idea of ‘gathering’ runs like a thread. CHAT invites all to gather, an action necessary for conversations, dialogues, discussions and debates to take place.

The exhibition Welcome to the Spinning Factory! from CHAT’s Inaugural Season will also be showing together with Gathering Delights during this exhibition period, allowing visitors to experience an interactive journey through Hong Kong’s textile industrial history with various visual experiences, hands-on experiential workshops and communication with CHAT team.

Takahashi Mizuki

About CHAT
CHAT (Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textile) is a part of the heritage conservation project of The Mills, the former cotton-spinning mills of Nan Fung Textiles in Tsuen Wan. Through its own curated multi-faceted programmes, which include exhibitions and co-learning programmes, CHAT invites visitors to experience the spirit of the innovative legacy of Hong Kong’s textile industry and engage in new dialogues and inspirational journeys that interweave contemporary art, design, heritage and community, weaving creative experiences for all.