Sit it out: This young artist makes chairs and tables into works of art | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Sit it out: This young artist makes chairs and tables into works of art

Architect Rooshad Shroff‘s handmade pieces have no nuts, bolts or metal straps. They’re his way of celebrating craftsmanship.

mumbai Updated: Jul 04, 2017 16:29 IST
Riddhi Doshi
At a new show, furniture becomes art as it celebrates handicraft techniques.
At a new show, furniture becomes art as it celebrates handicraft techniques. (Rooshad Shrof)
15,556, a design exhibition
  • WHERE: Pundole’s Art Gallery, Ballard Estate
  • WHEN: June 9 to July 7, 10.30 am to 6.30 pm (Closed on weekends)
  • CALL: 6114-6464
  • ENTRY IS FREE

When you see 35-year-old architect Rooshad Shroff’s hand-made wooden chairs embroidered with colourful cotton threads, you wonder if they’re actually for sitting?

The chair is supported only on two sides, not four, with what looks like C-shaped handles rather than conventional chair legs. The marble tables of his Crack Me Up series also seem supported from just one side of the circle. “These are perfectly stable and usable,” says Shroff reassuringly.

What’s furniture doing in an art gallery? None of the pieces has any nuts and bolts or metal straps, but are interlocked by the virtue of the different shapes. Showing visitors that clever design, an emphasis on craft and hand-made processes can create modern and minimalistic woks that are as much art as furniture.

Some of the works in Rooshad Shroff’s show use threads 2.5 kilometres long to create embroidery.

Shroff has used threads 2.5 kilometres long to create embroidery patterns on one chair. His delicate, but robust marble bulbs also hand carved are another highlight of the exhibition along with tables with a collage of sand art covered in lacquer.

The show, titled 15,556, represents the total man hours taken to create the 55 odd works using zardosi and wooden joinery. Shroff’s engagement with crafts began in 2011, upon his return from the US and UK, where he studied and worked for a decade.

“I was using a lot of technology where I worked,” says Shroff. “At the time I was completely enamoured by it and enjoyed working with it. But when you look at it critically, you realise the tools are so readily available, that objects start almost becoming similar. One way of making something special is having a sense of place. That’s where handmade comes in.”