Sudhir Patwardhan is one of India’s foremost artists. His exhibit at the Biennale is composed of the triptych Building a Home; Exploring the World (2014) and a set of lithographs titled Encounters in Time (2014) that together explore twin human impulses towards migration and settlement.

Migration by will and under duress is central to the story of civilisation, from the emergence of the first band of humans out of Africa to the species’ gradual conquest of the Earth and beyond. The first panel in the triptych refers to this history while the third depicts a not–so-distant future and man’s conquest of other planets. Straddling the two is the central image, depicting The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel and Monument to the Third International by Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin rising from a coastal landscape modeled on Kochi. The two iconic (even if ultimately unrealised) constructions are, to the artist, symbols both of man’s mastery over nature and his aspiration towards an ideal unified society. In inserting the legend of Babel, Patwardhan refers to the centrality of language in human history; as the basis not just of our definitions of home and oneness but also of our ability to interpret and perceive the universe. Overlaid on the triptych are quotes from sources ranging from the Bible to the science fiction novels of Stanislaw Lem.

The lithographs depict faces that peer at a viewer from indeterminate points in time. If Building a Home; Exploring the World depicts journeys in space, these ambiguous portraits signify encounters from an imagined journey through time.


  • Title: Building a Home; Exploring the World
  • Creator: Sudhir Patwardhan
  • Physical Dimensions: 66 x 180 in
  • Medium: Triptych \ Acrylic on canvas
  • Gallery: Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi
  • First Creator: 1949
  • Date of artwork's creation: 2014
  • Creator's practice: Thane, India
  • Creator's date of birth: Pune, India.

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps