Dropping a Kumbhar Wala Matka

A triptych of photographic prints in which Abbas Galwani, a Kumbhar Wala living and working in Dharavi, drops a traditional Indian Matka. With this act, Abbas denounces the cultural structures that restrict his social mobility, impede his ability to gain renown for his unquestionable skill, and hinder his capacity to provide for his family.


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Echoing the provocation of Ai Weiwei’s famed triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, Jansen’s Dropping a Kumbhar Wala Matka critiques the traditions and history that underpin Indian social conventions.

In India, the Kumbhar Wala (potter) is among the lower castes, meaning that these craftspeople, who make functional objects serving millions of Indians on a daily basis, do not earn the respect that they deserve for their role within Indian society. Kumbhar Walas work extremely long hours, making thousands of thrown objects every day, and the remuneration received for their many hours of toil is no where near that of higher, more traditionally educated castes.

Price is for all three images, framed separately in Australian hardwood frames with a stained and beeswax finish with UV protective glazing works.

Trent Jansen
Dropping a Kumbhar Wala Matka, 2016 (printed 2024)
(1-3) 84.1 x 59.5 cm (image, each)
inkjet on rag paper
edition of 10

Additional information

Dimensions 59.5 × 84.1 cm

Trent Jansen