Please Don’t Tweet This!

Thursday June 18th, 2015
Rathin Barman crouches on a table to score cardboard with a knife.

This summer four  young artists are participating in the Vancouver Biennale International Residency Program in Squamish, BC. They will each be taking over our blog, sharing their experiences and the progress of their Vancouver Biennale projects with you.

Rathin Barman from India is a sculptor who creates physical interventions in urban spaces. 


Residency Artist. Rathin Barman


I live in Kolkata, one of the most chaotic cities in the world. Erratic urban growth, over population and unchecked developments made the city chaotic, but at the same time the city has a very diverse social life. Social practices are much more important than social media until today. Virtual spaces and directions are still unable to dominate the majority of the population, which makes the city active in every possible aspect. There are chances to get lost in the city, which allows you to engage with new spaces and activities that you’re not expected to. One cannot simply Google to find anything in the city. There are many things that are not virtually mapped, possibly that will remain the same at least for next few decades.

The Vancouver Biennale Residency is my first residency program abroad and this is my first visit to Canada as well. The moment I get out of the Vancouver International Airport I felt the difference. And Squamish is very different from Kolkata, or any Indian cities or small towns. I find Squamish very organized, precise and so specific in every aspect. Further, I would say it is mapped quite intricately. You always know where exactly you would find things that you are looking for! Here, you just need to Google or use a few apps to find anything you want. If you live in the town you would perhaps very rarely be surprised by anything important that you are not aware of. When I think about Indian cities like Kolkata or even the smaller towns, they are so active contrary to the quietness of Squamish. Very few things or events are mapped or can be mapped; therefore, you will be surprised almost every time you go out. You need to find things physically most of the time, rather than virtually finding a place so that you can be sure where to go exactly. For example, my fellow residency artists have Googled for coffee shops in Squamish before arriving in the town. They know exactly where to go for a cup of coffee.


Rathin Barman scoring cardboard with a knife


This is the starting point of thinking of my project for the residency. I am creating some visuals of active space around the town, typically on the roadside, which will not be included on the map to find. I would prefer not to propagate through social media either. People should be surprised when they see it! Although I understand that it might not be surprising for long because of the way people in Canada are active on social media.


Rathin has agreed to continue this blog as he works through his residency project in Squamish and after he returns home to India, so check back for part 2 soon.

Connect with Rathin on social media

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The Vancouver Biennale International Artists Residency program is supported by Quest University. The artists who are selected to participate are rising stars in their own countries. The artists are required to involve the  community in Squamish in the realization of their projects. This program brings artists together in dialogue and builds lasting connections between the artists and the local community.

Like what you see?