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Riyas Komu View Artworks of Riyas Komu Back to Artist

Born in 1971 in Kerala, Riyas Komu moved to Mumbai in 1992 to study literature. But he dropped out during his final year of the Literature course. He eventually obtained a Bachelor’s and Masters Degree in Fine Art from the Sir J.J. School of Art in 1997 and 1999 respectively.

Riyas Komu is an artist whose work has strong political overtones. His work spans different media and genres and his paintings are the carrier of a protest symbol. He rather believes that as an artist, one has to be political. One’s art has to have a strong ideological orientation, it shouldn’t be just a piece of ornamentation to decorate the wall, he thinks.  

The artist was influenced by his father’s political leanings as well as his own brief associations with political student groups. He specifically lays bare the grim and stark economic inequalities of the city of Mumbai, the brute reality of juxtaposition of absolute wealth and abject poverty. The beauty of Komu’s work is that it is charged with the energy of contraries, it reflects both hope and dejection at the same time.

Riyas Komu has widely exhibited in galleries across India and in world cities like Milan, New York, Berlin, Beijing, Taipei, etc. The artist received the two year long K.K. Hebbar Foundation Society Scholarship. He has also been honoured with the Bombay Art Society Award in 1996 and the Maharashtra State Art Prize in 1995.

The artist lives and works in Mumbai.


  1999 Master of Fine Arts (Painting), Sir J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai

  1997 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), Sir J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai



Selected Solo Exhibitions

  2018 'Riyas Komu: Holy Shiver', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 'Condition', Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi

  2010-11 'Oil's Well, Let's Play!', Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan

  2010 'Subrata to Cesar', Gallery Maskara, Mumbai in association with The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 'Safe to Light', Azad Art Gallery, Tehran

  2008 'Related List', Bodhi Art, Berlin

  2008 'Mark Him (Second Half)', Galerie 88, Kolkata

  2007 ‘Mark Him’, The Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2006 ‘Systematic Citizen’, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi  2006 ‘Faith Accompli’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 ‘Grass’, Photography Show, Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 ‘The Third Day’, Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi presented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2003 ‘Sarasu’, Photography Show on Raja Ravi Verma Press, Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2002-03 ‘Ambulance’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai and Renaissance Art Gallery, Bangalore

  2002 ‘Unconditional’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

Selected Group Exhibitions

  2013 'Peak Shift Effect', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 '2 + 2 = 5', The Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2012 'The Contemporary Sultanate', presented by Exhibit 320 at One Style Mile, Olive, New Delhi

  2011 Gallery Sumukha, Chennai

  2011 'Pause: A Collection', Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2011 'High-Light', presented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai at The Oberoi, Gurgaon

  2011 'Palimpsest', Aicon Gallery, New York

  2011 'Tolstoy Farm: Archive of Utopia', presented by Seven Art Gallery at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  2011 'Tech-Cut-Edge-Revelations', Ashna Gallery, New Delhi

  2011 'Myth - Reality: Constructing Cult-ure', The Guild, Mumbai

  2010 'Inside India', Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, Turin

  2010 'Midnight's Children', Studio La Citta, Italy

  2010 'Looking Glass: The Existence of Difference', Twenty Indian Contemporary Artists presented by Religare Arts Initiative, New Delhi in collaboration with American Centre; British Council; Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi

  2010 'Indian (Sub)Way', Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi; Grosvenor Vadehra, London

  2010 'Third Dimension', Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 'A. SYCO', The Viewing Room, Mumbai

  2010 'By George', presented by Cherry Art Foundation at Alliance Francaise de Delhi, New Delhi

  2010 1x1 Art Gallery, Dubai

  2010 'Contested Space- Incursions', Seven Art Limited, New Delhi

  2009-10 'Sculpture', The Guild, Mumbai

  2009 'The Dark Science of Five Continents', Gallery BMB, Mumbai

  2009 'Indian Summer', Galerie Christian Hosp, Berlin

  2009 'Multitudes', Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore in collaboration with Zen Studio Gallery and Artflute.com

  2009 'India Contemporary', GEM, Museum of Contemporary Art, Hague

  2009 'In The Mood For Paper', F2 Gallery, Beijing

  2009 'Zip Files', Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2009 'Inaugural Show', Sakshi Gallery, Taipei

  2009 'Shifting Shapes, Unstable Signs', Yale School of Art, Connecticut, USA

  2009 'Bapu', presented by Saffronart in association with Berkeley Square Gallery, London

  2008-09 'Signs Taken for Wonders: Recent Art from India and Pakistan', Aicon Gallery, London

  2008-09 'Hot Shots', The Viewing Room, Mumbai

  2008 'Uncovered', Sans Tache Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2008 'November', 1x1 Contemporary, Al Quoz, Dubai

  2008 'Everything 2008: 12 Artists from India', Willem Baars Projects, Amsterdam

  2008 'Six Degree of Separation Chaos, Congruence and Collaboration in South Asia', presented by KHOJ International Artists’ Association and the Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi at Anant Art Gallery, New Delhi on the eve of 10 Years of KHOJ

  2008 'Urgent Conversations', Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre and Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi

  2008 ‘Everywhere Is War (and Rumors of War)’, Bodhi Art, Mumbai

  2008 'Link', Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2008 ‘Frontlines: Notations from the Contemporary Indian Urban’, BodhiBerlin, Berlin

  2008 'Shifting Terrains: Altered Realities', The Shrine Gallery, New Delhi

  2008 ‘India Crossing’, Studio La Citta, Verona

  2008 'Affair', 1x1 Art Gallery, Dubai

  2007-08 Indian Art at the Swarovski ‘Crystal World’, 1st Exhibition, Tirol – Österreich, Austria

  2007-08 ‘India Now: Contemporary Indian Art Between Continuity and Transformation’, Provincia di Milano, Milan, Italy

  2007-08 ‘Face East’, Contemporary Asian Portraiture, Wedel Fine Art, London

  2007-08 ‘Similarities’, Lansdowne Gallery, Mumbai

  2007 ‘India Time’, Galleria Paolo Curti / Annamaria Gambuzzi, Milan, Italy

  2007 Christian Hosp, Austria

  2007 ‘New Wave: Contemporary Art form India’, Aicon Gallery, London

  2007 ‘Frame / Grid / Room / Cell’, Bodhi Art, Mumbai

  2007 ‘Young Guns’, Institute of Contemporary Indian Art (ICIA), Mumbai

  2007 Photographs, Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2007 ‘I Fear, I Believe, I Desire’, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

  2006 ‘Bronze’, Sculpture Show, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi

  2006 'Drawing Show an Act of Art II', Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2006 ‘Art on the Beach, Made by Indians’, St Tropez, Gallery Enrico Navarra, Paris

  2006 ‘On Difference # 2’, represented Korea, Wurtt, Kunstwerein Stuttgart, Germany

  2006 ‘Maarkers’, Bodhi Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2006 ‘Red Earth and the Pouring Rain’, Lanxess ABS Gallery, Baroda

  2006 ‘Strangeness’, Ananat Art Gallery, Kolkata

  2006 'Tangibles', Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 ‘Kaam’, Arts India Gallery, New York and Palo Alto

  2005 ‘Span’, Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2005 ‘Endless Terrain’, Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi

  2005 ‘Double Enders’, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kochi

  2005 ‘Present Future’, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  2005 ‘Configurations’, Ananat Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2005 ‘Are We Like This Only’, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi

  2005 ‘Whose Space Is It Anyway’, Gallery Espace, New Delhi

  2005 ‘Mannat Jali’, Marine Drive, Mumbai

  2005 ‘Public Art Project’, Gallery Chemould, Mumbai

  2004 V. M. Art Gallery, Karachi

  2004 ’Anticipations’, Museum Gallery, Mumbai

  2004 ‘Bombay Boys’, Palette Gallery, New Delhi

  2004 ‘A New Mediatic Realism’, Bayer ABS Gallery, Baroda

  2004 ‘Generation I’, Saffronart Gallery, Mumbai

  2004 ‘RED’, Palette Gallery, New Delhi

  2004 ‘Mumbai x 17’, Kashi Art Gallery, Cochin

  2003 ‘Crossing Generations : diVERGE’, 40 Years of Gallery Chemould at National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  2003 ‘Highlights’, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2003 ‘2D / 3D’, Visual Art Centre, Hong Kong

  2003 ‘Ideas and Images’, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  2003 ‘Art for Art / Switzerland Meets India’, Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai

  2002 ‘Ways of Resisting 1992-2002’, Sahmat, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi

  2002 ‘Words and Images’, organized by The Guild, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  2002 ‘Creative Space’, Sakshi Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

  2002 ‘Crosscurrents’, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2002 ‘Debt’, The Guild, Mumbai

  2002 ‘Tribute To Picasso’, The Guild, Mumbai

  2001 ‘The Human Factor’, Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2001 ‘Engendering Images of Women’, The Guild, Mumbai

  2001 ‘Excerpts from My Diary’, Fine Art Company, Mumbai

  2000 ‘Mumbai Metaphor’, Tao Art gallery, Mumbai

  2000 ‘Exile Longings’, Lakeeren Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2000 ‘Memos of The New Millennium – Artists From The Molting World’, Birla Academy of Art and Culture, Mumbai

  2000 ‘Ideas and Images’,(Video Installation), National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  1999 ‘Critics Choice’, Ideas and Images, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai

  1998 ‘He Used To Believe that EMS Planted Coconut Tree In Kerala’, Installation, Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai

  1998 ‘Essays in Time – Kinetic Sculpture (Audio-Video Installation), Nehru Centre, Mumbai

Selected Joint Exhibitions

  2012 'Alone / Together', with G R Iranna at Aicon Gallery, New York

  2007 ‘Other’, with Peter Drake at Aicon Gallery, London


  2012 'Art for Humanity', Coomaraswamy Hall, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mumbai

  2012 ‘To Let the World In: Narrative and Beyond in Contemporary Indian Art’, as part of Art Chennai, Edition II at Lalit Kala Regional Centre, Chennai

  2011-12 'India: Lado a Lado / Arte Contemporânea Indiana (India: Side by Side / Indian Contemporary Art)', part of the Exhibition ÍNDIA! presented by Brazilian Ministry of Culture and Banco do Brasil at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro; Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, São Paulo; SESC Belenzinho, São Paulo and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Brasília

  2011-12 'Shadow Lines: India Meets Indonesia', part of Biennale Jogja XI at Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta

  2011 'Crossroads : India Escalate', India Pavilion at Prague Biennale 5

  2011 'Red', Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2011 'Take 2', Arushi Art Gallery, New Delhi

  2011 'Paris-Delhi-Bombay', Centre Pompidou, Paris

  2011 ‘Artzuid 2011’, Avenues of Berlage’s Plan-Zuid, Amsterdam

  2011 'Concurrent India', Helsinki Art Museum Tennis Palace, Finland

  2011 'Of Gods and Goddesses, Cinema, Cricket: The New Cultural Icons of India', Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 'India Awakens: Under the Banyan Tree', Essl Museum, Austria

  2010 'Finding India: Art for the New century', presented by Sakshi Gallery at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei

  2010 'Master’s Corner', organized by Indian Contemporary Art Journal at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; India International Art Fair, New Delhi

  2010 'Emerging Asian Artists', as part of Art Gwangju 2010, KDJ Convention Center, Gwangju

  2010 'Contemporary Printmaking In India', presented by Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai; Priyasri Art Gallery, Mumbai

  2010 'On the Road to the Next Milestone', part of the Exhibition 'Indian Highway', at Herning Museum of Contemporary Art (HEART), Herning

  2010 'Roots', 25th Anniversary Exhibition of Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai at The Park, Chennai

  2009 'Expressions at Tihar', Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi

  2009 'Failed Plot', part of KIAF 09 at COEX, Seoul

  2009 'Contemporary Exoticism', Studio La Citta, Verona

  2009 'Beyond Globalization', Beyond Art Space, Beijing

  2009 'India Xianzai: Contemporary Indian Art', Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Shanghai

  2009 Pulse New York, presented by Aicon, New York

  2009 'ARCOmadrid', Spain represented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2009 'Arte Fiera 2009', Bologna represented by The Guild, Mumbai

  2009 'CIGE 2009', China represented by The Guild, Mumbai

  2009 'Contemporary Art from India', Palais Benedictine, Fecamp, France supported by Gallerie 88, Kolkata

  2008-09 ''Modern India', organized by Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM) and Casa Asia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture at Valencia, Spain

  2008 'Art Asia Fair/ Scope Miami 2008', represented by Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore

  2008 'Pulse Miami', represented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2008 Presented by 1x1 Art Gallery at Art Paris, Abu Dhabi

  2008 SHContemporary, Shanghai represented by The Guild, Mumbai

  2008 SHContemporary, Shanghai represented by Bodhi Art

  2008 'Art Beijing 2008', represented by Bodhi Art, Mumbai

  2008 'CIGE 2008', Beijing represented by The Guild, Mumbai

  2008 Annual Show, Triva Contemporary, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

  2008 'Harvest 2008', organized by Arushi Arts at The Stainless Gallery, New Delhi

  2007-08 ‘Kashi 10 Light Years – Anniversary Show’, Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi

  2007 ‘Think With Senses – Feel With Mind’, La Biennale Di Venezia, 52nd International Art Exhibition, Italy

  2007 Presented by Willem Baars Projects at Art Amsterdam, Amsterdam

  2007 'On The Edge of Vision: New Idioms In Indian and Italian Contemporary Art', organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in New Delhi in collaboration with the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi at Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata and National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai and New Delhi

  2007 Annual Show, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai

  2006 Annual Show, Viart, New Delhi

  2005 World Social Forum Show, Brazil

  2004-1999 ‘Harmony Show’, Mumbai

  2002 Asian Art Festival, Singapore


Honours and Awards


  2010 Fellowhip from Lalit Kala Academy, Kerala

  1996 Hebbar Foundation Scholarship

  1996 Bombay Art Society Award, Mumbai

  1995 Maharashtra State Award

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