Dynamic artists in their own right, together, Vishwa Shroff and Katsushi Goto have proven to be natural collaborators. We were lucky to have them with us during Art Bites #2 where Hena Kapadia, Founder, TARQ focused on their joint practice and latest project, which has been conceptualised for the "Everyday" Zine (not yet released).
Together, Vishwa Shroff and Katsushi Goto have collaborated on five books, conceptualised and designed a theatre set for “Guards at Taj” at G5A, Mumbai (2017) and are most recently working towards designing an “Open Kitchen” pavilion. They also co-founded SqW:Lab, a fellowship that investigates notions of domesticity and drawing in Mumbai since 2018.
We wanted to continue that conversation here to learn a little bit more about this duo.
We talked a lot about your bookmaking during Art Bites. What are some ways in which the books you've created have evolved over the past few years?
In the beginning, we were exploring the format of the book it self. The content, while important to us, remained responsive to the book making process. This changed with the Room book. We are now much more interested in putting forward aspect of our research that require a visual expression beyond drawing into the book.
Why has domesticity played such an important part in your work together? How do you pick which aspects of this to bring to life?
Our interest in domesticity lies in questioning what is seemingly common knowledge. The findings of these, for Goto, are reflected in his architectural practice, while for Vishwa, it is the narrative and navigating aspects which are interesting. You can read more about this on our fellowship website where we explore domesticity with other practitioners.
Tell us a bit about how you work together and collaborate, what is the process like?
Our personal and studio lives are intermingled. We live and work out of the same space, making our dialog on both our practices and of daily chores an ongoing one. Therefore it is difficult to point out how we work together and collaborate. Those agreements and disagreement are so much part of our lives that when it comes to specific projects, it more a question of pining down thoughts from many conversations. I think thats that most difficult part. To go back on discussions and find the exact relevance for a particular project.
Looking at quarantine and this pandemic, how has this changed your view of the world and has it affected your practice in any way?
We think it's too soon to make any judgement especially since our routine has remained more or less the same. Changes seep in slowly and sometimes unconsciously. The mundane experiences that have significant impact become visible only in retrospect. We seem to still be unsure of how living in Japan for five years effected us, so for this too only time will tell.
Before you go...
What it feels like to find inspiration?
Vishwa: To me it's a matter of practice and discipline . To do everyday, rather than have eureka moments.
Goto: For me it's not external, I generate inspiration for myself.
What is the first piece of art you remember interacting with and why?
Vishwa: Jyotsna Bhatt’s ceramics are the first works I ever encountered. I am not sure I even realised then that this was art, but I knew somehow that this (making art) is what I wanted to do. Goto: On a school trip to Sculpture Park in Hakkone, Japan, where we were encouraged to look at the works alongside literature.
The setting you most enjoy when working?
Vishwa: Again, it's a question of doing and not where I am. Having said that, a few materials brought along go a long way in finding that comfort, so that when I work I am not scavenging for basic things. Goto: Trying any new thing gives me the kicks. The more difficult it is, the more I am trilled as long as I have some clue.
The best meal you've had?
Vishwa: The world is delicious! but when in Bombay, it's sev puri that excites me the most. Goto: Squid pickle from my childhood.
The first place you'd like to go after quarantine ends?
Vishwa: Take our Dog out for a run. Goto: Any pub…drinking outside with human noise.