Over a Hundred Summers

Shrey Sethi | October 27, 2023 | Art

Based in a quaint lane opposite St. Anthony’s Church in Siolim, lies Goa’s latest culinary and artistic gem – HOSA. Showcasing its culinary artistry to tourists, travellers, and locals alike,
its name translates to ‘new’ in Kannada.

Designed as and deemed to be more than just a restaurant, the restaurant is an architectural masterpiece that’s built inside a restored mansion that dates back to1901. Walking into the space on a warm October evening, I had a chance to view the latest art exhibit on display at the restaurant. The moment I stepped inside, I was welcomed by a myriad of art and a visual representation of South India’s vibrant culture. Celebrating Goan art and heritage, ‘Over a Hundred Summers’ is put together by Samira Sheth of Work of Art, Goa, featuring Dr. Subodh Kerkar, Shripad Gurav, Siddharth Kerkar and photographer Ulka Chauhan. The exhibition engages with the different perspectives of Goan architecture and focuses on a vernacular presentation of homes built during the Colonial era. The works on display – in the forms of paintings, photographs, works in graphite, wood and copper – exude the charm of old Goa homes and structures.

A bit about the artists on display

Dr Subodh Kerkar is the founder of the Museum of Goa. His extensive collection of work includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, performance art installations, ceramics, and more. Goa, specifically its scenery, the ocean, its cuisine, culture, people, tradition, and architecture, serve as the main inspiration for much of his work.

The vividly populated portraits of Goan life by Shripad Gurav are both aesthetically pleasing and enlightening. The portly Bhatkaar (Konkani for landlord), the charitable village priest, and the village ladies are among his cast of characters, but beneath the surface of these paintings, drawings, and etchings of a distinct location and its inhabitants, there are numerous sub-narratives. Portuguese control in Goa for more than four centuries had a profound impact on the region’s architecture, cuisine, dress, and overall way of life.To encourage you to look and then look again at works that are richly laced with symbols of colonial history, Shripad sets his characters against the backdrop of Goa’s old homes. These include the vividly coloured Galo de Barcelos (the Portuguese rooster), the patterned textiles, and more.

Siddharth Kerkar, who is renowned for his thoughtful use of media in his layered abstracts, transforms the materials used to construct traditional Goan dwellings into a wholly own modern idiom. He employs hues of laterite, ochre, lime, stone, and mud to reflect on the distinctive architecture of Goa, which were inspired by the hues of these local, indigenous elements. Blue hues are also brazenly incorporated into the artist’s body of work as a tribute to Goa’s oceanic scenery.

Ulka Chauhan’s images offer a unique inside look into Goan ancestral homes that are still in use today, serving as a stage for the daily rituals of living. Every detail in her depictions of these old houses contributes to a greater awareness of time. Her use of light and composition changes fluidly depending on the subject she chooses. Ulka brings the observer into each of her frames, whether it is a creative minimalism and reduction in her series of silhouetted window frames or a rich and expansive maximalism in her large Sala work. The hazy swirl of the past and present is softly brought into focus through her literary and artistic constructions, framed by the potent lens of time.

“We want people to spend more time looking around, beyond the food plates on their tables. That is the primary reason why we invest so much time in curating artworks at all our properties.” says Rohit Khattar, founder and chairman of EHV International. He further adds “I am a collector myself, and I like to spend time around places wherever there’s art around. It’s elevates your experience, both while dining and otherwise.”

In the words of Dr. Subodh Kerkar, “As one enters Goa, before you can speak to anyone, these houses speak to you.” HOSA is a testament to this sentiment, celebrating Goa’s rich history while simultaneously forging a new chapter.

As guests walked around HOSA’s rooms, they relished in its exceptional array of bar bites offerings, paired perfectly with an eclectic range of beverages.

Less than a year since its inception, HOSA has already become the ‘it’ destination for those visiting Goa’s varied F&B scene. The genius behind the plates, Chef Suresh DC, has been lauded as one of India’s top chefs by Culinary Culture, a gastronomical authority helmed by Vir and Raaj Sanghvi.

HOSA is a proud feather in the cap of EHV International, a leader in the hospitality industry, boasting iconic restaurants like Indian Accent and Comorin. Their reputation for excellence is reflected in the accolades they’ve earned, including recent honours at the ET Hospitality World Restaurants & Nightlife Awards 2023.

For reservations and further details, reach out via their social media handles or visit their official website.

Words by Shrey Sethi.
Image courtesy HOSA.

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