INTERVIEW: ArtworldNow meets gallerist Hena Kapadia

By Tehezeeb Moitra

Young, dynamic and inspired are a few words I would use to describe Hena Kapadia, gallery founder and director of the recently inaugurated TARQ in South Bombay.

Why did you choose Disappearing Professions as your debut show? How does it relate to the overall ethos of TARQ?
The show has a wonderful archival element to it, in that the photographer, Clare Arni has spent several years capturing the Disappearing Professions of Urban India. The selection of photographs at TARQ look particularly at the vibrant variety of people, textures and colours that we will be losing out on as these professions cease to operate. Clare is able to stunningly capture unique vistas of the cities she explores, looking not only at occupations that will be lost to us, but also sights and places that are rapidly evolving into a colder, unfamiliar space. Both, Clare’s attention to detail as well as her intention in creating the show were essential to this being the first exhibition at TARQ.

You speak of TARQ as seeking to be a platform that fosters and encourages what you call “conversation around art”? What do you understand by this and why do you see this as being a particular need/ aspect to be addressed.
As the name TARQ suggests, the idea of this gallery is to be open to conversation, and to be a space where artist, collector, critic and enthusiast can learn and grow together. The intention is to have a space where different voices can be heard and a sense of context and history can be developed. The fact that many people still feel uncomfortable talking about art, makes me want to be in a space where anyone can take an interest in and talk about the works on display.

TARQ is posited as being as space that is “committed to building an educational structure” alongside regular shows. Could you expand on this idea, and perhaps how you plan to implement it?
The goal is to get people talking and thinking in terms of the visual and engaging them with art in interesting ways. At TARQ we plan to engage groups and individuals through workshops, discussions and master classes with artists and other practitioners in the art world.

What do you understand by art that is “process driven and provoking” and why do you feel that this is important enough to be a defining element to what constitutes the TARQ ethos?
Art that is process driven and provoking to me means that the artist has been thoughtful and considerate of every aspect of the artwork, and that the artwork is integral to an expression of a set of complex ideas. I find that works which hover in my mind days and months after an initial encounter are most impactful, I love coming back to these works over and over again. It is this thoughtfulness and engagement with works that I believe defines the TARQ ethos. 

Images 1-5 from the Disappearing Professions of Urban India exhibition at TARQ. © Clare Arni 2011