Eccentric Structures / Intimate Worlds: Chemould CoLab | Vinita Mungi

10 March - 23 April 2022

Celebrating the exuberance of life, Vinita Mungi’s sculptures manifest as a series of biotic playgrounds. Their surfaces – meticulously glazed and often coated with candy-coloured slips –feature soft curves, folds, and asymmetrical forms that are inspired equally by limitless patterns in nature, socio-political concerns and formal visual enquiry.  


Mungi renders ideas of fluidity and spontaneity at various scales, with labyrinthine arrangements informed by the bodies of tree-trunks or branches. Their surfaces are colonised by oblong shells, sea sponges, tubular mushrooms, and miscellaneous organic matter, speaking explicitly of co-existence. Occasionally framed by windows, punctured holes and other openings across the structures’ façades reveal their hollow nature and provide diverse viewpoints into fantastical interior chambers. The underlying elements we see here seemingly split and sprout in constant mutation. Built with clay – a product of the interaction between natural elements – and fragile in their materiality, these representations highlight notions of resilience through symbiosis and adaptation, while demanding closer engagements of Mungi’s rich details.   

Mungi’s biospheres are multi-layered, multi-storeyed, and multi-textured – their gouges, incisions, bulbous swellings, and densely-populated spiky protrusions manufacture undulating topographies. Teeming with suggestions of fecund female forms as well as phallic symbols, these details imbue the works with sensuous qualities. By highlighting the normalcy of such carnal, bodily imagery within the natural world, the sculptures invite reconsiderations of broader issues surrounding markers of sexuality and notions of vulnerability.

Initiating dialogues between positive and negative spaces, naturalism and abstraction, the miniscule and macroscopic, Mungi’s works ultimately challenge various dichotomies to visualise a utopian world. Often constructed as independent parts designed to fit perfectly into each other, they divulge her laborious process while meditating further on larger ideas of totality, permanence, and permutation.


- Pooja Savansukha

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Press release