A visual artist, writer, art historian, arts administrator and curator, Suresh Jayaram is the founder of and director of Bengaluru-based artist-space 1Shanthiroad. Jayaram’s professional interests are diverse and include urban mapping, archiving, curating and painting, while art education and institutional reform are at the core of his practice.
Jayaram obtained his BFA in painting from the College of Fine Arts, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in 1990 and an MFA in art criticism from the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University, Baroda (now Vadodara) in 1992. The following year, he joined the Chitrakala Parishath as a professor of art history and served as dean from 2005–07, before retiring to devote himself completely to 1Shanthiroad.
The main thrust of Jayaram’s work has been research and curation. In 2010, he was a key member and curator of a critical engagement between India and Sri Lanka in the form of the collaborative Sethusamudram Project, between 1Shantiroad and Theertha International Artists’ Collective. From 2010–11 he undertook research and documentation for a monograph and public art and history project on Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, a German botanist and urban planner credited with planning some of Bengaluru’s famous gardens, such as Lal Bagh. He initiated the Bangalore Mapping Project, of which the Krumbiegel Project was a part. He also curated the 2nd Colombo Art Biennale in 2012.
A recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust grant 2004–05, he participated in an artist residency in the Gasworks Studios, London, in 2004, where he created a mixed media work that explored links between London and Bangalore, and by extension, between the local and global, in the context of his city’s mixed urbanisation. He coordinated the South Asian residency between 2007 and 2010 at KHOJ, New Delhi, where he had previously been part of the working committee to organise an international arts residency in Mysore and Bengaluru. In 2008, he won Arts Network Asia (ANA) grant with which he curated the show REWA on the exiled Tibetan community in India. In 2010, Jayaram was an arts administration fellow of ARThink South Asia at Skulpturenpark, Berlin. He was also an artist-mentor at Art1st, Mumbai, in 2015 and the Pro Helvetia Research Residency, Zurich, in 2017. He compiled and edited The 1Shanthiroad Cookbook, which features recipes by over seventy artists, curators, patrons, residents, family and friends, illustrating their diverse and evolving cultural community. He was also involved in the collaborative exhibition with artist-in-residence program Paradise Air, Tokyo and 1Shanthiroad titled Japan + India: From There And Here – Alli-Illi – Achi-Kochi.
As of writing, Jayaram lives and works in Bengaluru.
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