C.K. Rajan


(b.1960, lives and works in Hyderabad, India)

C.K. Rajan was a member of the Kerala Radical group that emerged at the University of Baroda in the 1980s, with a manifesto to challenge both the status quo within the Indian art world and the Indian political system. Rajan originally trained as a painter. After the group’s disintegration in the late 1980s, he devoted himself both to sculptural works, inspired by pop art, and to a comprehensive series of collages. Rajan continues his political concerns in these works, but in a way that smartly manages to circumvent an explicitly didactic approach. Globalisation had a big impact on India and brought political and economic changes. Rajan tries to find visual equivalents for the social unrest that makes itself felt, but is disguised as the creation of a ‘new middle class’. He balances between critical and socially engaged assemblage and surrealist influences. His works have shown in solo exhibitions in Mumbai, and internationally at Documenta 12 in 2007. Works from the Mild Terrors series are in the collection of the Tate Modern in the UK.