Book of Abundance


Title: Book of Abundance | Medium: Graphite, collage on Hahnemühle paper | Size: A3, hand bound, custom crafted notebook | Year: 2017

The 82 works in this custom, hand bound unique edition were executed over a period of 8 months, wherein Makanji’s preoccupations with environmental issues were translated into a deliberate merger of drawings and collages. Makanji chose the form of the work to be a book with the specific intent of creating an immersive and intimate experience for the viewer.

The book questions our perceptions of nature and how deeply conditioned by consumerism we are to think that a walk amidst cultivated swathes of land is a walk in “nature”. How the very notion of the “wild” can easily destabilize the human and how we have fought to subjugate and bring to order the “wild”.

The monochrome drawings in the book are layered with nuance, suggesting fragility and the senescent human form where as the collages being more pronounced, are clearly indicative of the violent impact of humans on the planet. These collected works attempt to reflect balance and imbalance; the futility of humans aspiring for eternity and that perhaps nature is the only absolute.


Book Of Absence

Book of Absence is a labor of love. Something I started in an old sketchbook in December 2015. It took me exactly a year to complete and while it was a tremendously difficult year, I found a way to pour my grief into this book and it was what kept me moving forward.

In an A4 book format, Book of Absence takes a cue from old botanical and zoological illustrations and positions itself as a visual hand drawn archive depicting a probable loss of species. It is entirely handcrafted and custom bound by hand. Book of Absence exists as a unique edition.

Book of Absence cover

BOA detail 8

BOA detail 6

BOA detail 5

BOA detail 4

BOA detail 3

BOA detail 2

BOA detail 1

BOA detail

Cadavre Exquis

Cadavre Exquis still

Medium: Video. Length: 3min10. Year: 2016

A provocative and visceral collage, Cadavre Exquis is named after a surrealist parlor game, that sees participants create drawings and collages collaboratively, passing on the drawing for the next participant to complete. A game that required the act of secrecy, where the next participant cannot see the previous drawing, was intended to unearth and free the unconscious.

Much like the game, Cadavre unearths the surrealistic elements of a large-scale fish market in the heart of Mumbai, at Sassoon Docks; indicting the aestheticization of the ‘dead things in the water’ (or formaldehyde, as the case may be) as an object without a purpose. The inclusion of the men who labor to clean, strip, skin and sort these fish, suggests a context that even the superb surreal quality of decaying and fresh fish cannot obfuscate; labor and its conditions, and commodification’s mute victims come together in Cadavre Exquis in a mellowed palette no less difficult than its reality.

Renuka Sawhney, New York 2016