Exhibition Road – “When Soak Becomes Spill”

Following a trip to the V&A I discovered at the junction of Exhibition Road and Cromwell Road, (near to South Kensington Tube station) an imposing silver coloured sculpture by Subodh Gupta called “When Soak Becomes Spill”. It’s been there since 23 October last year and will stay until 31 January.

As the V&A describe “Subodh Gupta is one of India’s most renowned contemporary artists. He is known for transforming everyday objects into large-scale installations that both reflect on his heritage and explore universal themes. His installations are often made from stainless steel buckets, pots, plates and cooking utensils that are used by large sections of the population. In the west these shiny vessels represent an exotic India, for the artist, these mass-produced utensils are part of his childhood and local surroundings.

When Soak Becomes Spill by Subodh Gupta
When Soak Becomes Spill by Subodh Gupta

When Soak Becomes Spill plaque (LR)

For his installation ‘When Soak Becomes Spill’, Gupta has created a stainless steel bucket of an overwhelming scale with hundreds of small vessels spilling from the brim like flowing water. This alludes to the wastage of the world’s natural resources and the growth of consumerism. The shiny utensils seem precious, bright and attractive – something to be coveted. They represent the temptation of new commodities and the promise of a better future. However, as these vessels are empty they suggest the ultimate poverty of a consumer society”.

Whichever way you look at it, this is a really imposing piece of sculpture, visible and demanding a further look from quite a distance.


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