In Conversation: GCC Talks to TARQ Mumbai

TARQ was founded in 2014 by Hena Kapadia to create meaningful conversations around art and its myriad connotations and contexts. The name, TARQ, is the Sanskrit word for ‘discussion, abstract reasoning, logic and cause’. 


Envisioned as an incubator for young contemporary artists, TARQ works towards pushing the boundaries of how contemporary art in India is exhibited and perceived. TARQ’s youthful and experimental ethos encourages art collectors, novice and seasoned alike, to approach collecting through a perspective that marries thoughtfulness with an inquisitive eye for aesthetics and artistic processes.


Given its location in one of Mumbai’s most historically significant art deco buildings, Dhanraj Mahal, TARQ aims to engage with the art community and the city at large, in thoughtful and creative ways, thus furthering experimental approach of the gallery. 



We’ve been trying to find ways in which we could work on minimising our environmental impact as a business, given that climate change is one of the most important challenges facing our generation. And while we’ve talked to our shippers about sustainable packaging, there weren’t many other avenues that came to mind immediately. The GCC gave us a roadmap on how to begin reducing our carbon footprint.


I think the pandemic that we are currently living through made us question much of how we work as a gallery, including taking stock of a lot of things we would have found unimaginable to live without even a couple of years ago. The urgency to address our ways of working also comes from living with the consequences of years of climate change that are affecting our city, Mumbai. Since several of the artists we work with address environmental issues through their practices, we felt it was about time that we begin to echo this in our practice as a gallery. 


What has been the most significant change you’ve made as a gallery?

Reducing travel—which is partially pandemic driven, as well as considering more sustainable packing and shipping solutions.  


I think the fallout of climate change is most certainly inequitably distributed, and while a well thought out and executed policy at international, national and local levels will make the most significant impact, I think as private organisations, we must be ahead of the curve and begin to set standards by which we operate. 


This work by Rithika Merchant was one of the cornerstones of her exhibition ‘Birth of A New World’. The show was focused on the current pandemic we are living in, and how we will emerge from the colossal environmental degradation we are facing. We stand at the crossroads between two very distinct futures.The title of the work originated from the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfill" and the word for "ivory" is similar to that for "deceive". 


On the basis of that play on words, true dreams are spoken of as coming through the gates of horn, false dreams as coming through those of ivory. It is up to us to choose where we go from here.

June 15, 2021