Sujay Saple (b.1986) is an interdisciplinary artist from Mumbai, India. His practice lies at the intersection of performance and installation. His approach to art-making is rooted in spatial and theamtic propositions of intimacy – be it through physical action, content, space, dialogue or transaction. His work has morphed across performative installations, visual theatre, contemporary dance, interactive choreography, protest parades, light sculptures, immersive concerts and zoom films – each an amalgam of the visual and the physical. He has been an independent designer, director, performer, teacher and facilitator, working professionally in the arts field since 2002. He has been involved in more than 50 collaborative projects, working with artists such as Bijayini Satpathy, Maya Krishna Rao, Atul Kumar, Rajat Kapoor, Rehaan Engineer, Jyoti Dogra, Moya Michael (Brussels), and Mitsuaki Matsumoto (Japan) among others.
Sujay is the director of Shapeshift – a project-based experimental group he set up in Mumbai in 2012 to produce and promote his artistic work. With Shapeshift, he has created several original works that have performed at various festivals and prestigious venues around India and received rave reviews. Through Shapeshift, Sujay’s focus has been to galvanize, within the existing cultural bouquet, a vibrant supportive space for experimental interdisciplinary performance practices, communities and venues in India. Additionally, under his public online research project ‘ALT+space’ from 2014-16, he researched and shared information on over 40 alternative spaces for performance across India. From 2016-17, he was a partner and co-curator at an alternative cultural venue in Mumbai called The Mumbai Assembly. He was awarded the 2012-13 Ministry of Culture-Government of India research fellowship. He also received the Art Think South Asia (ATSA) fellowship in 2016. He won the Best Lighting Designer Award in 2007 at the Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards.
Workshops and teaching being a special focus, he has regularly been invited to share his creative process and approaches to art-making through workshops for professionals, students and young adults – in India notably at Prithvi Theatre, National Centre for Performing Arts, Bombay International School, Indian Institute of Technology-Mumbai, Junoon, School of Environment and Architecture, Rangashankara Theatre, The International School Bangalore, Srishti Institute of Art Design and Technology; and internationally he has facilitated workshops at Pakistan National Council For The Arts(Lahore), Tiyatro 0.2(Istanbul), Contacting The World ’08 Festival (Liverpool), Santiago A Mil Festival (Chile), and Columbia College (Chicago). From 2013-16, he was visiting faculty (elective) at the KRVIA Architecture College in Mumbai. In 2019, he was the official speech coach for TED Talks in India.
Sujay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai. He has trained in Grotowski-based physical theatre processes in 2007 with Adil Hussain, living and working under a rigorous training regime in Hampi, Karnataka. He has been an integral part of Atul Kumar’s The Company Theatre(TCT), with whom he started his artistic journey in 2002, and is on the Board of TCT’s International Workspace for Theatre Research and Performance in rural Maharashtra. He has participated in international artistic exchanges and collaborations like Contacting The World (Liverpool) in 2008 and the P.A.R.T.S India Residency in 2016, among others. Early in his career, he has also exercised his proficiency as an administrator and organizer for various cultural events, conferences, workshops and arts festivals.
Sujay is currently based in Bangalore, India.