Author(s): Dayanita Singh
Dayanita Singh's accordion-fold book-exhibition on the chairs of "tropical modernist" Geoffrey Bawa
I wanted to suggest a conversation among these chairs, which have always seemed to me more like people than objects, with distinct personalities and genders even." With this sentiment in mind, Dayanita Singh (born 1961) went about photographing the many chairs living throughout the houses and public buildings designed by Geoffrey Bawa, whom Singh deems a "tropical modernist" and the most influential architect of the South Asian region.
Less still lifes than portraits, Singh's images show how Bawa's spaces engage with the chairs, be they designed or collected by Bawa, or installed after his passing. Made to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Bawa's birth, Bawa Chairs is constructed as an accordion-fold booklet in the manner of Singh's Chairs (2005), Sent a Letter (2007) and Museum Bhavan (2017), and intended to be unfolded and installed at will--transforming the book into an exhibition, and the reader into a curator.