Asim Waqif, installation artist from India. Photo © MFA Boston

1.Tell us what you do and your beginnings.

I am an installation artist working on large scale public-art projects. Initially I studied architecture and worked in set-design and exhibition design while also dabbling in documentry films. In 2005 I chanced upon the art scene and did a few art projects while continuing to work as a designer. By 2010 I had almost completely shifted to art and many opportunities opened up for me.

2.What does your work aim to say?

My work deals with issues of sustainability, waste and the built environment. It is my perverse intention to reconfigure trash such that it becomes so desirable that people want to put it in their drawing rooms and climate controlled art collections. Often people who can afford to buy art, those who are economically well up the ladder, are the people who have very large waste footprint.

Bamsera Bamsi, bamboo plantation, bamboo craft and seasoning, custom built aeolian instruments, soil management, 2017 – ongoing (estimated to take 20 years). Sylhet, Bangaldesh, commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation © Courtesy of the artist

My large public installations are made after laborious and intricate work with craftsmen and other technical collaborators, but the projects themselves are often temporary. Most of the material used for these projects is sold back into the secondary market at the end of the project to take on new forms.