India Art Fair 2023

Image courtesy - Serendipity Arts Foundation at India Art Fair 2022



the cases of missing vegetables

Project by Akash Muralidharan


The concept for the ‘Cook and See’ challenge arose from the desire to find out why several vegetables from Samaithu Paar (A Tamil vegetarian cookbook from the 1950s) are not present in our kitchens anymore. Why have some of these vegetables fallen off our plate?
The idea was to cook with underused vegetables using traditional recipes suggested in the book to try and get to the bottom of this mystery. We started off with the vegetables mentioned in the book and hoped to discover more as we progressed through the 100 days. So every day we posted a picture of the vegetable on Instagram, a video of my mother cooking a recipe from the book and some information about the history and usage of the vegetables. This helped us learn more about the vegetables, in terms of their culinary potential, the journey they took to reach us in South India and their accessibility in today’s world.
After the 100 days, we were able to locate about 70 vegetables and recipes to incorporate. Along with these, we were also able to generate some insights to help us talk to the stakeholders of our food system to further understand the production and consumption of these vegetables. Right now, we are talking to home cooks, chefs, restaurants, farmers, and a few other stakeholders in the city to develop further insights and to verify if the assumptions we began with are true. 
The challenge remains to unearth the reason or reasons behind the absence of these and in the process, to devise methodologies to make sure we do not miss out on any more in the future. Collating the research findings and answers as a book or an online repository accessible by the public can help us all understand the fact that the food on our plate is much bigger than what it is and situated in a wider nexus. That is where the challenge is headed towards.

About Akash
I am Akash Muralidharan. I am a food designer from Chennai. I am keen on
understanding the impact of food on culture. I aim to explore Food, Architecture
and its cultural background as a creative process and come up with innovative
solutions for future scenarios. Along with two dear friends Sanjana a Textile
designer and Priyadarshini a Graphic designer we found “VIZHA” a
multidisciplinary design studio that strives to create and experiment with the 3
basic needs – Food, Clothing, and Shelter.

The Library of Edible Issues

Image courtesy: The Library of Edible Issues at Serendipity Arts Festival 2022

In Praise of Shadows

Image courtesy: In Praise of Shadows at Serendipity Arts Festival 2022
Twochannel video, 13 min 46 sec
Editing: Tanmay Kulkarni
Sound: Hemant Sree Kumar, National Animal
Camera: Julien Segard, Siddharth Moulik
Drone Footage: Akash Madhukar Fulari
Assistant: Divyesh Undaviya
Special thanks to Kapil Das, Tenzing Dakpa and Asim Waqif
This project is part of “The Island That Never Gets Flooded”, a Public Art Grant awarded by Serendipity Arts Foundation to 6 Goa based artists who showcased their work at Serendipity Arts Festival, which took place in Panjim, Goa between 15-23 December 2022.