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November 2019

Tall Poppy Real Estate Viewer's Choice Awarded to Auckland Based Artist Chirag Jindall. Arts Gold Awards 2019. [Tue, 12 November 2019]

  • Tall Poppy Real Estate Viewer's Choice Awarded to Auckland Based Artist Chirag Jindall. Arts Gold Awards 2019. -  - Chirag Jindal, 'No. 9 Ambury Road'.

The closing of the 2019 Arts Gold Awards was celebrated at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in Alexandra on Friday with the announcement of the Tall Poppy Real Estate Viewers Choice Award. This was won by artist Chirag Jindal with his work titled 'No. 9, Ambury Road'. Following is the backstory to this work. 

Drawing upon his background in architectural studies, Auckland - based artist Chirag Jindal works at the intersection of documentary journalism, new media art and contemporary cartography. His current practice explores his subjects through the gaze of terrestrial LiDAR - an emerging form of laser imaging applied in surveying landscapes built environments and archaeological ruins. Using light as a medium, this instrument registers its surroundings as millions of precisely-measured points, translating the physical world into a digital facsimile. Colour is sourced from a traditional photographic process, where the saturated hues of textures and surfaces are mapped onto each individual point of data.

Jindal's debut project, Into The Underworld / Nga Mahi Rarowhenua, employs this technique to document the lava caves of Auckland - a mythified, dilapidated landscape devastated by a century of rapid urban sprawl. Once the site of urupa, war shelters and mushroom farms, the caves are considered wahi tapu by local iwi and are unique to the city's volcanic region. They are now found under the suburban boundaries of the city, where construction debris, stormwater pipes and rubbish heaps litter the inside. Reduced to urban myth, their existence is no longer common knowledge and ongoing discoveries are ignored by the developers that destroy them.

Collaborating with local landowners, mana whenua and city council, Jindal has crawled through roadside manholes and backyard grottoes to document 11 sites across the city, Through exercises in exploring, mapping and revealing, the project takes an empirical approach to bring something fictionalised and unseen into the domain of public visibility, casting a new mode of light on something to be recognised, preserved and managed as a shared heritage.