Agar is dharti tay koyi jannat hai, o ay hi hai...

Baptist Coelho

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  • artist in residence


Baptist Coelho (Mumbai, 1977) is a visual artist from India and is the artist-in-residence at the In Flanders Fields Museum for 2022. Baptist Coelho's artistic projects are developed around various themes such as: conflict, war (and war museums), conscription, commemoration, heroism, emotion, fear, healing, the body, and gender. 

For the In Flanders Fields Museum, Baptist has developed the new mixed media installation

Agar is dharti tay koyi jannat hai,
o ay hi hai, ay hi hai, ay hi hai.

This work is inspired by a gigantic chandelier installed within the exuberant setting of the Royal Pavillion and the adjoining Dome in Brighton, UK. The exotic Pavillion and Dome were converted into a military hospital for Indian Army soldiers who were sick or wounded while fighting for the British on the Western Front during the First World War. On 16 January 1915, a wounded Sikh wrote home to an undivided India from Brighton: "If there be paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this." Like the beautiful propaganda pictures of the hospital at the Dome, these words obscure and repress the pain and reality of war. The installation will be on display until 8 January 2023. During this period, the work continues to evolve and the artist continues to make interventions. 

“Like an excavator, I move back and forth in time, retrieving traces of the past and documenting the present across various geographies. My artworks probe beyond the surface to complicate, contradict and rethink oral histories, facts, memory, and its loss. My interdisciplinary projects use diverse mediums such as installation, sculpture, print, drawing, collage, audio/video and performance.”


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