Riding Rocinante was a performative art project undertaken by the artist, Tushar Joag in 2010. A journey through Sardar Sarovar and the Three Gorges, the artist embarked upon on a motorcycle that he named ‘Rocinante’, after Don Quixote’s horse. He left Bombay on the August 23, 2010 and reached Shanghai on October 14, 2010. In the past, Chinese monks like Xuanzang, Fa Hein have travelled to India with the intension of learning from the Buddhist masters. The short journey that Prince Siddharth Gautama took (on his horse Kanthaka) through the city of Kapilavastu when he saw the four sights changed his outlook towards life. Prince Siddhartha gave up his riches to embrace ascetism. The long youthful adventure by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara round Latin America on his motorcycle (La Poderosa II) was an initial step towards realising the revolutionary in him. Tushar Joag’s journey has references to these and many such travels that were undertaken by heroes and legendary figures – journeys that changed the course of their lives.
For Joag, this journey is perhaps more Quixotic than heroic, a journey towards his own self. A cross-cultural curatorial experiment, this project culminated in an installation in Shanghai, and was part of “Place • Time • Play: India-China Contemporary Art Exhibition” curated by Chaitanya Sambrani for West Heavens Project of China Academy of Art and Hanart TZ Gallery.
Born in 1966, Tushar Joag completed his Bachelor’s degree in sculpture from the Sir J.J. school of art in 1988 and his Masters from the Faculty of Fine Art, M.S.University, Baroda in 1990. He did a 2 year residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, The Netherlands from 1998 to 2000 and was the co-founder of the artist’s initiative Open Circle. Having participated in many national and international shows, his work involves gallery practice as well as interventions in the public sphere examining the linkages between aesthetics and politics.
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