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Recycled Wooden Khirkiyan our Darwaze (Windows and Doors) from the Kalindi Kunj market in Delhi
Asim Waqif
Installed at Khoj Studios
This maze-like installation comes installed with an electronic and acoustic system that creates a kind of soundscape through a pedal contributing to sounds and vibrations, each time a viewer moves around.
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Workspace 21 Mar 2017

Khirkiyan aur Darwaze: An Interactive Space by Asim Waqif

A contemporary art installation, Asim Waqif gathers recycled wooden Khirkiyan aur Darwaze (windows and doors) from the Kalindi Kunj market in Delhi to bring together an interactive maze-like setup, at Khoj Studios, encouraging viewer participation.

Asim Waqif, an architect and artist by profession works with contemporary urban themes through the use of discarded materials. What distinguishes his work from many is his prehension for the concept of materials and space. Many of his works are often based on his research and observation over issues pertaining waste, sustainability and urban spaces. 

Recycled Wooden Khirkiyan our Darwaze (Windows and Doors) from the Kalindi Kunj market in Delhi
Asim Waqif

A fine example is ‘Khirkiyan aur Darwaze’ that was displayed at Khoj Studios. Having made several trips to the recycling markets at Kalindi Kunj, Delhi that deal with wood retrieved from demolished buildings, he often looked for a reason to pick out those beautiful pieces of discarded material. Soon enough, with a project in hand at the Khoj Studio, he handpicked several Khirkiyan (windows) and Darwaze (doors) to build an immersive space.

The experience Waqif created for the viewer was in sync with the theme at Khoj that required the artist to convert the given space to an immersive environment. He fashioned a maze-like installation through the use of the discarded doors and windows. This helped him manipulate the architectural space by having his viewer engage and absorb or even consume the experiences within this space differently. 

Dressed with layers of dust, cobwebs, stickers and posters, Waqif chose not to dust off the history the units came with, instead, he chose to showcase their original form. Interestingly, he came to identify these pieces of furniture as timbers of different kinds, namely, teak, shisham, two kinds of pine, old plywood and board. Having been installed manually through nails or screws, the doors and windows project was installed over a period of 5 days.

Tired of looking through art projects that were limited to the eyes of the viewer alone, Waqif figured that by installing a maze-like setup the viewer would be able to engage with this project and understand the built environment.  To this, he installed an electronic and acoustic system that created a kind of soundscape through a pedal that contributed to sounds and vibrations, each time a viewer moved around. Had the viewer been curious or moved around the space, he or she would have experienced this soundscape, if not, the sound would eventually come to cease.

Waqif saw through the barriers that blocked the communion between the viewer and the artwork. Through the ‘Khirkiyan aur Darwaze’ installation, he subtracted traditional art viewing practices and instead, deliberately made the viewer’s experience arduous. Right from squeezing through narrow passages, bending down to fitting through a compressed frame, the viewer was given an opportunity to experience and engage with art like never before.

Installed at Khoj Studios
This maze-like installation comes installed with an electronic and acoustic system that creates a kind of soundscape through a pedal contributing to sounds and vibrations, each time a viewer moves around.

This project got each viewer to negotiate the given space and even while this challenged the viewer’s experience, Waqif knew for a fact that they would eventually consume this space and connect with it, even if it meant for a few moments.